A message from Principal John Rickert

Dear Families:

I am writing to inform you that the Schenectady County Department of Health has confirmed that an individual at Niskayuna High School has been diagnosed with pertussis. Also known as whooping cough, pertussis is a respiratory illness that can be spread from person to person. The individual diagnosed with pertussis has received appropriate medical care and will not be in school until they are no longer contagious. Those who may have had close contact with this individual are being identified and will be contacted directly.

According to the New York State Department of Health, pertussis is a bacterial infection that can spread through the air when people cough. It is contagious and complications may occur, if left untreated.

The symptoms to look for include:

  • Mild cough, fever, common cold symptoms.
  • Within two weeks, the cough becomes more severe and is characterized by episodes of numerous rapid coughs followed by a crowing or high pitched whoop.

If the above symptoms occur, the following suggestions will be helpful:

  • Keep your child away from others.
  • Immediately notify your physician.
  • Notify the school’s health office personnel.

The incubation period of this disease is usually 5-10 days, but can be as long as 21 days. It can be transmitted to others by droplet or airborne spread without personal contact. Your child must stay home for five (5) days of treatment with antibiotics.

More information and a fact sheet about pertussis is available here from the New York State Department of Health.

If you have any questions or concerns, you may contact your child’s healthcare provider, the school nurse, or the Schenectady County Department of Health at (518) 386-2810.


Mr. John Rickert
High School Principal