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A Central Saanich school is dealing with a case of whooping cough.

Island Health says a student at Keating Elementary School has come down with a confirmed case of the highly contagious illness.

The health authority sent letters to parents Tuesday warning families to get their children vaccinated for whooping cough if they haven’t already.

Island Health says it has counted 35 cases of whooping cough since the beginning of 2019.

Whooping cough is caused by a bacterial infection in the throat.

The disease causes severe, violent coughing that can last for months.

Whooping cough spreads easily from one person to another, according to HealthLinkBC.

Most people recover from whooping cough with no additional health problems, but severe coughing spells can decrease the blood's oxygen supply and lead to other problems, such as pneumonia.