MARTINEZ -- A 9-year-old student at Morello Park Elementary was diagnosed last Friday with whooping cough, also known as pertussis.

His mother alerted the school, which sent out a message to parents warning them to look for signs and symptoms of the communicable disease. These can include runny nose, sneezing, low or no fever, and a mild cough.

The symptoms can worsen after one or two weeks and can last for months, including coughing attacks that can lead to vomiting, a red or blue face, a "whoop" sound, breathing problems, fatigue and sweating. Infants are especially at risk, said Paul Leung, Contra Costa Public Health immunization coordinator.

More information is available by visiting www.getimmunizedca.org. To see immunization rates at preschools and kindergartens in Contra Costa County, visit http://cchealth.org/immunization/school-iz-levels. php.