ONEONTA – Parents of Oneonta High School students have been notified that the district has confirmed cases of pertussis (whooping cough) at the high school.
Officials at the high school were notified by the school nurse, who also reported the cases to the Otsego County Health Department.
Pertussis is a highly-contagious infection of the airways and can be spread by coughing or sneezing. Health officials are recommending that students see a doctor if:
– Your child has a cough, they should not attend school, work, or public activities and they should see a healthcare provider to determine if they have pertussis. Inform the healthcare provider that your child may have been exposed to pertussis.
– Your child has a weakened immune system or has a condition that would be worsened by pertussis and has been a close contact to someone with pertussis:
– Ask your healthcare provider to consider prescribing antibiotics to your child as soon as possible to prevent pertussis. Antibiotics are recommended for exposed persons with certain underlying conditions even if they are not coughing.
Additionally, officials are asking that if a child exposed to pertussis and lives with a woman who is pregnant, a baby younger than 12 months old or someone with a weakened immune system, that they be put on antibiotics as a precautionary measure.
If a doctor diagnoses a child with pertussis, health officials ask that the parents notify the school and keep the child home until they have been on an antibiotic for five days. More information about pertussis is available at www.health.ny.gov/publications/2171/ and www.health.ny.gov/publications/2171