800 Park Avenue
|June 2, 2020||
Utica, NY 13502
Cough’ Reported in Area Schools
Eight cases of pertussis, a highly contagious respiratory disease
commonly known as Whooping Cough, have been reported locally since May 19th,
Oneida County Health Department officials said today. Laboratory tests
confirmed the Bordetella bacterium
that causes the disease in three cases, while the others involve persons
who are symptomatic of the illness.
The Oneida County Health Department is working closely with the
three schools in notifying parents whose children attend.
Letters advising parents of the reported illness are being sent
home with students today. Additionally,
the health department is alerting area physicians to the occurrence of
pertussis in the area in order to facilitate early diagnosis and treatment
of any patients presenting symptoms.
Although pertussis can occur at any age, it generally affects
children younger than 5 years and is most severe in infants under 1 year
of age. Only 15% of all reported cases occur in children over 15 years
old. There has been an increase in reported cases of pertussis among
adolescents and adults in recent years and a steady increase of reported
cases overall in
The first symptoms of pertussis are similar to those of a common
cold and include runny nose, sneezing, mild cough and low-grade fever.
After 1 to 2 weeks, the dry persistent cough evolves into coughing spells
which can last for more than a minute and cause the affected person to
turn red-faced or purple. A high-pitched whooping sound or wheeze at the
end of a coughing spell characterizes the illness.
These coughing episodes can continue for one to two months and
are more common at night. pertussis can be spread by direct contact
with discharge from the nose or throat of an infected person from the
onset of symptoms to 3 weeks after the onset of coughing. Treatment with
antibiotics is effective and will shorten the period of communicability.
“If left untreated, pertussis can result in complications
including pneumonia, middle ear infections, loss of appetite, dehydration,
brief periods of cessation of breathing, disorders of the brain and even
death,” said Dr. Susan
Blatt, Medical. Consultant for the Oneida County Health Department. Blatt
treatment is begun, children should be kept home from school for at least
the first five days of antibiotic therapy.”
Faisst stressed that prompt diagnosis and treatment can reduce the
spread of the disease and parents should ensure that their child’s
immunizations are up-to-date.
For more information contact the Oneida County Health Department at
798-5064 or go to the web-site at www.ocgov.net.