New York high school sees 6 cases of whooping cough

Health officials confirmed an outbreak of pertussis, or whooping cough, at Oneonta (N.Y.) High School, according to a report from WKTV.

Officials identified six cases among students since Nov. 22 and notified parents of the outbreak. The Otsego County Health Department instructed school staff to closely monitor students for signs of the illness.

"[The health department] basically ask[ed] our health officials here to be on heightened awareness for symptoms related to Pertussis, and we err on the side of caution in a situation like this, so anything that's questionable we reach out to the parents," Thomas Brindley, the principal of the high school, told WKTV.

Pertussis incites uncontrollable, violent coughing, which can persist for weeks or months. The bacterial illness is spread by person-to-person contact, sneezing or coughing. Infants, young children and the elderly are at the highest risk for complications.

To learn more about pertussis, click here.

More articles on infection control: 
5 resources to promote national influenza vaccination week 
CDC policy boosted baby boomer hep C screening rates by nearly 50% 
Meningococcal disease, legionnaires', drug-resistant TB: 5 recent and ongoing outbreaks

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