JAMESTOWN, N.Y. (WIVB) — Jamestown Public Schools says it was alerted by the Chautauqua County Health and Human Services Department that two cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, were diagnosed at the high school.
The school says it has been working with the Health and Human Services department, along with the New York State Department of Health and local healthcare providers to make sure families of students affected are notified.
“It is contagious and if we don’t kind of alert people to the potential it could eventually let a cough go and expose that many more people,” said Jamestown School District Nurse Practitioner Jill Muntz. “And of course what we’re really trying to protect is the small babies that have not yet had vaccinations and their immune systems are not completely developed and pregnant women as well as those in the community that might not be able to be vaccinated or have immunodeficiency.”
In the meantime, the school says parents should pay attention to their child’s respiratory symptoms. The symptoms of whooping cough can seem like a mild cold at first, but are then followed by severe coughing fits. Any student with a severe cough is asked to stay home and visit a doctor.
Antibiotics can be used to control symptoms and prevent the spread of whooping cough. There is also a vaccine to protect against pertussis.