For the first time in several years, a case of pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, was reported in Sierra Madre dorms early last week.

San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department diagnosed a male freshman with the highly contagious respiratory infection. According to Vice President for Student Affairs Cornel Morton, the student’s friends called authorities in concern. Shortly after, the student was taken to Sierra Vista Hospital.

Housing officials moved the student to an isolated room in Yosemite Hall, where he was treated with antibiotics. The residence hall staff delivered all meals, coursework and other necessary items to the student, according to a press release.

Since the diagnosis, campus officials have alerted the student population and gave a list of symptoms to watch out for. The student’s classmates and other on-campus residents were specifically notified and letters were sent out to parents.

At least 30 other students living in Sierra Madre have reported symptoms similar to those diagnosed with whooping cough. Campus officials quarantined the students and treated them with a course of antibiotics.

“The treatment lasted five days, and the students reporting symptoms are currently able to attend classes,” Morton said.

Morton also added that there have been no additional reports of whooping cough on campus.

To find out more information on symptoms or treatments, contact county health authorities at 781-5500.

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