COLONIE A student at Shaker Junior High School has been diagnosed with pertussis, better known as “whooping cough,” according to the Albany County Department of Health.
Since the severely contagious disease spreads quickly from person to person, the North Colonie School District sent out a letter informing parents to check if their children have been exposed. According to the letter, individuals in close contact with the student have already been “identified and treated.”
The statement advises to watch out for core symptoms of pertussis. Although it begins with cold-like symptoms, including a mild cough or low-grade fever, the cough eventually becomes worse after a week or two. The cough then turns into coughing fits, which can result in vomiting, fatigue and difficulty of catching breath, creating a whooping-like sound.
Treatment with antibiotics is recommended, according to the statement. If a student has been diagnosed, they cannot return to school, work or extracurricular activities until five days of antibiotic treatment is done.
Pertussis can also occur even in those that have received vaccinations for the condition as a child.
Anyone with health concerns is advised to speak to their child’s healthcare advisor or contact the Albany County Department of Health at 447-4640.