Confirmed case of pertussis at AHS

Dear Parents, Students and Staff,

At this time there has been one confirmed case of pertussis at Amsterdam High School.  The case was confirmed on Jan. 22. The period of time the student was contagious was Jan. 6-17.

Montgomery County Public Health has been monitoring the situation. The high school nurse will be monitoring students for signs and symptoms, if such should occur.

Pertussis is a contagious respiratory disease that is spread by direct face to face contact with an infected person. The incubation period is usually 7-10 days but may be as long as 21 days. An infected person once treated with an antibiotic for 5 days is no longer communicable even if they still have a cough. An infected person is communicable from the onset of symptoms until 21 days after the onset of cough if untreated.

Pertussis begins with cold symptoms and a cough, which becomes much worse over 1-2 weeks. Symptoms usually include a long series of coughs (“coughing fits”) followed by a whooping noise. However, older children, adults and very young infants may not develop the whoop. There is generally only a slight fever. People with pertussis may have a series of coughs followed by vomiting, turning blue, or difficulty catching breath. The cough is often worse at night and cough medicines usually do not help alleviate the cough. Please keep in mind these above symptoms and seek medical attention.

Infants under one year old, especially those under six months, are most likely to have severe symptoms if they develop pertussis.  Children are vaccinated for pertussis with their childhood shots. The protection for pertussis wanes, as they get older. It is recommended that at some point all adults receive one dose of Tdap when they are due for a Td booster.

If you have any questions please contact your primary care physician or call Montgomery County Public Health at 518-853-3531.

School Nurse