A case of whooping cough was confirmed in Shoreham-Wading River High School last Thursday, according to a letter posted on the district’s website issued by the Suffolk County Department of Health and Human Services.
The affected student was not identified.
Officials said there has been a recent increase in pertussis, a respiratory illness commonly known as whooping cough, throughout the county and are urging parents to monitor their children for symptoms, specifically a persistent cough.
People are contagious for 2-3 weeks after the onset of the cough, officials said, and can be effectively treated with antibiotics during that time.
The county 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 Centers 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 health department. 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.
In December, a whooping cough case was also confirmed at Shoreham-Wading River High School.