RENO, Nevada — A whooping cough outbreak has prompted the closure of a Catholic high school in Reno until next week.

The Washoe County Health District says it has confirmed four cases of whooping cough at Bishop Manogue High School and additional cases are listed as probable.

District officials say the Catholic school is cooperating with an investigation into the highly-contagious respiratory disease and agreed to close the school until Monday to protect students and staff.

District Health officer Kevin Dick said late Monday the outbreak is “very serious.” He says it underscores why all students are required to be vaccinated for the disease, which is called “pertussis” and is known for uncontrollable, violent coughing that makes it hard to breathe.

Washoe County School District officials say no other cases have been confirmed at any other schools in the Reno-Sparks area.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say s pertussis is spread through coughing and sneezing. Early symptoms are similar to those of a cold, including a cough, runny nose and fever. The cough typically worsens as the illness progresses.

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