PARENTS of schoolchildren in Renfrewshire are being warned after a 'whooping cough' outbreak in schools.

Two schools in the area reported the recent incidents which led to NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) sending a letter to parents. 

The schools that reported the incidents are Houston Primary and Gryffe High.

In the the letter, it was said that a small number of cases had been reported, however, the respiratory illness posed little threat to adults and older children.

It is younger children who are a cause for concern according to the health board.

Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is a bacterial infection of the lungs and breathing tubes.

It spreads very easily and can sometimes cause serious problems. It's important for babies and children to get vaccinated against it, says the NHS.

Symptoms of the cough are similar to that of a cold however after a week it can transpire into a cough which reportedly can last a few minutes with those suffering also sometimes making a "whoop" sound when coughing.

People suffering from the symptoms may also experience vomiting and redness in the face.

Children who show signs of the cough are being asked to seek medical advice by contacting their GP or calling NHS24 on 111 at weekends.

The letter sent out by NHSGGC said: "Until whooping cough has been ruled out, people with symptoms should not attend school/work/nursery and avoid close contact with others.

“People with symptoms should be particularly careful to avoid contact with pregnant women and infants who have not been immunised.

“People with symptoms can return to school/work/ nursery 48 hours after the start of antibiotic treatment, if given, or 21 days after onset of symptoms if antibiotics are not used.

“Asymptomatic contacts of whooping cough cases do not need to stay away from others.

“NHSGGC is managing a small number of whooping cough cases linked to two schools in Renfrewshire.

“All of the cases and their close contacts have been managed in line with public health guidance and NHSGGC is working with the affected schools and local GP surgeries to provide advice and guidance.

“The risk to the school communities is low."

Ben Smith, councillor for Paisley Northwest said that he "encourages" people to follow the advice laid out by the NHS.

He said: "I've seen the reports of a small outbreak of whooping cough in some schools in Renfrewshire last week and I understand the health board is keeping a close eye on the situation.

"Whilst whooping cough is usually non-threatening to adults, the symptoms can be deeply unpleasant, especially in children and those with respiratory vulnerabilities.

"I would encourage parents to follow the advice received through their children's school: to keep their child off if they display any of the symptoms.

"This is particularly important to protect the vulnerable."