A case of whooping cough was confirmed at Shoreham-Wading River High School this week, according to a message on the district’s website.
The student is home and under a doctor’s care, according to the message.
“Please be assured that the health and safety of our students is our top priority,” the district wrote. “Please continue to monitor your children for symptoms, specifically a persistent cough. People are contagious for 2-3 weeks after the onset of the cough and can be effectively treated with antibiotics during that time, so please contact your physician promptly for diagnosis if you suspect pertussis.”
The district is directing parents seeking more information on pertussis, including the symptoms, to visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/pertussis.
Whooping cough, which is transported through the air by coughing, is especially dangerous and can be fatal for infants.
Early symptoms of whooping cough are a mild cough, a runny nose and a low fever, according to the Center for Disease control. As the disease persists the traditional symptoms of a high pitched “whooping” cough, vomiting and exhaustion after coughing fits may appear. Coughing fits may persist for weeks. The best way to prevent the disease is immunization, the CDC states on its website.
Adults and children, however, may develop pertussis even if they are up to date on their vaccination since immunization wanes over the years, according to the county Department of Health and Human Services. If you suspect that your child has contracted whooping cough, it is urged you contact their physician and request your child is tested for the disease using a special nasal/throat swab.
Those suffering from whooping cough are asked to stay home until he or she has completed five days of antibiotic treatment, according to the county health department.