Whooping cough is confirmed in two students at Broadalbin-Perth

The district is notifying all parents of the two cases of pertussis, a highly contagious disease spr

Broadalbin-Perth Central School District officials are reassuring parents today it’s safe to send their kids to school despite confirmation of two cases of whooping cough among the student body.

The district is notifying all parents of the two cases of pertussis, a highly contagious disease spread through the air by cough, which were discovered at each of the district’s two buildings.

“If your child is healthy, there is no need to keep them home from school,” Superintendent of Schools Stephen Tomlinson said in a news release.

“The students who have been diagnosed with pertussis are being treated at home and will not be in school for the duration of their illness. That being said, if your child displays any of the symptoms of whooping cough, please keep them home from school and contact your child’s school nurse as soon as possible.”

Pertussis begins with cold symptoms and a cough, which worsens significantly over a week or two. The disease is known as “whooping cough” because it usually includes a long series of coughs following by a “whooping” noise.

Older children, adults and infants might not develop the whoop, however, and only have a slight fever. Other symptoms include vomiting, turning blue or difficulty breathing.

Broadalbin-Perth sent information to parents with recommendations from the state Department of Health. Even if a child has received pertussis vaccines, known as DPT or DTaP, they can still catch pertussis if they have been around someone with the illness, according to the state.

The school asks that parents who suspect their child has come across someone with pertussis to contact their family physicians and let them know that pertussis has been diagnosed at their child’s school.

The state Department of Health has issued the following recommendations on pertussis:

• Infants under one year old — especially those under six months — are most likely to have severe symptoms if they develop pertussis. When possible, young infants should be kept away from people with a cough. Infants with any coughing illness should be seen promptly by their doctor.

• Some children seven years and older have recently been given a vaccine called Tdap, which may give them additional protection.

• If you child comes down with cold symptoms that include a cough, talk to your child’s doctor without delay. Tell the doctor that pertussis has been diagnosed in your child’s schoolmates.

Additional questions and concerns should be directed to the Fulton County Health Department at 736-5720.

Categories: Schenectady County

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