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Case of pertussis diagnosed at Niskayuna High School

The following information was sent to Niskayuna High School parents via School Messenger e-mail on Wednesday, Dec. 14.

The Schenectady County Health Department has informed us that a Niskayuna High School student was diagnosed with whooping cough (pertussis) this week. We are sharing this information with our parents as a precaution.

Pertussis is a contagious disease that is spread person-to-person through the air by coughing or sneezing. It begins with cold symptoms and a cough that can worsen within one to two weeks. The affected student is not currently in school and is under the care of a physician.

The vast majority of students have been vaccinated against pertussis. However, it can affect individuals even when their shots are up-to-date. Symptoms usually include a long series of coughs. The coughing is often worse at night and not typically alleviated by cough medicines. Other symptoms include slight fever, vomiting, turning blue, or difficulty catching one's breath.

Although pertussis can affect people at any age, complications from pertussis are more common in infants and young children.

We encourage parents to watch for any symptoms and contact their family physician if they have any questions or concerns. If needed, treatment may prevent a child from becoming ill or lessen the chance of it being spread to others.

You can find more information about pertussis in this online fact sheet from the State Department of Health. If you have further questions or concerns, please consult your family physician or contact the local health department at (518) 386-2824.

Thank you for your attention to this information.