Wisconsin school district facing whooping cough, TB

Health officials have confirmed 69 cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, in the Appleton, Wisconsin, school district, with more suspected cases still being tested.

The outbreak is the largest to strike Appleton since 2004, when 91 cases were reported. The city's health department has also been dealing with a confirmed case of tuberculosis at North High School that occurred last week, WBAY ABC 2 reports.

"What we know is that we're seeing increases (of pertussis) across the state of Wisconsin," Kurt Eggebrecht, the Appleton health director, said, according to WBAY ABC 2. "We don't know where it will go, but if it plays out like in 2004, we're likely to see it plateau and the numbers will come down again."

The health department for the city has been hard at work and plans to test more than 300 people for tuberculosis at the high school.

"Our pertussis case, as you know, has been rather large, and we've been dealing a lot with that in the school system, and with this now active TB case that's unique to just one school building," Eggebrecht said, according to WBAY ABC 2. "But it's an additional workload we are taking on. What we've done is we have assigned some of our staff to work just on pertussis, and I have a couple of staff working primarily on the tuberculosis. We have extended some of our hours in the evening and weekends to accommodate this need. That's something we'll do and continue to do."

The school district has continued to educate parents on symptoms and signs of both diseases through information posted on its website and through letters. The tuberculosis screening at North High School is scheduled for next week.