What to know about pertussis as county confirms cases
ALBANY, N.Y. (October 12, 2012) –
The Albany County Department of Health reports that several cases of
pertussis were diagnosed this fall in the county, including two in the
City School District of Albany.
Pertussis, or whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease
known for uncontrollable, violent coughing that makes it hard to
breathe. A person with pertussis can spread the disease when coughing or
sneezing while in close contact with others.
Pertussis generally is treated with antibiotics and early treatment is
The infected people in our schools have been treated
successfully and cleared for return to school by their doctors,
and letters about the illness went home to families of children in those
Usually pertussis begins with cold-like symptoms that can include a mild
cough or low-grade fever. After one or two weeks the cough becomes worse
and people may experience coughing fits that may be followed by
vomiting, difficulty breathing and fatigue. The cough is often worse at
night and it may not be relieved with cough medicine. Coughing fits can
last many weeks.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the best way to prevent
pertussis among infants, children, teens, and adults is to get
vaccinated. Also, keep infants and other people at high risk for
pertussis complications away from infected people.
In the United States, the recommended pertussis vaccine for infants and
children up to age 7 is called DTaP. The pertussis booster vaccine for
older children, adolescents and adults is called Tdap. Both vaccines
provide protection against three diseases: diphtheria, tetanus and
The recommended vaccine for children entering prekindergarten and
kindergarten is three doses of DTaP. For students entering the sixth
grade, a mandated Tdap booster is required by New York state. A single
dose of Tdap is recommended for children aged 7 to 10 who did not
complete the three-dose series, children aged 11 to 18 and adults 19 and
older if they have not received a dose already.
For more information, contact your child’s health-care provider or the
Albany County Department of Health at 447-4640.
You also can click on the highlighted text for a
pertussis fact sheet or to link to the
Disease Control and Prevention information about pertussis.
The mission of the City School District of
Albany is to educate and nurture all students to be
responsible citizens, critical thinkers and lifelong learners to
successfully compete in the global community by providing an
academically rigorous and safe environment in partnership with parents,
students and the community. The district serves about 8,600
students in 15
elementary, middle and high schools. In addition to neighborhood
schools, the district includes several magnet schools and programs, as
well as other innovative academic opportunities for students,
including four themed academies at Albany High