NORTHVILLE (WWJ) – A student at Northville’s Hillside Middle School has been diagnosed with pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough.

Parents this week received a letter stating that school officials are working closely with the Wayne and Oakland County Health Department.

Wayne County Health Director Ruta Sharangpani says whooping cough can be a stubborn disease.

“It’s often called the hundred-day cough,” she told WWJ Newsradio 950. “That is, people are only contagious for a short time, but they can cough for months and months, which can be very disturbing in terms of just being able to, you know, get work done and feel good.”

The symptoms, much like the common cold, can include a runny nose with watery eyes, nasal congestion, a mild fever and a dry cough

“Usually it’s transmitted through droplets — so, cough and sneeze,” Sharangpani explained. “And usually if you are vaccinated you have a much, much less chance of getting sick from the disease.”

Sharangpani said most children are vaccinated, but she also recommends that adults at some point receive a vaccination as well.

School officials ask that children who exhibit any of the symptoms listed above be kept home from school.  They also advise parents to inform the school if their child is ill and to contact a doctor right away.

Northville parents with questions or concerns call the Northville High School Office at 248-344-3800, or email,

For more information about whopping cough from the CDC, click here.


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