N.J. School Students Have 'Highly Contagious' Whooping Cough

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According to NJ.com, it has been reported that two students at Summit Public School District have been diagnosed with whooping cough. The district's superintendent noted that this 'highly contagious' respiratory disease can be spread to others.

Whooping cough is also known as pertussis and is often spread through the air by coughing or sneezing, two of the main symptoms.

Superintendent, June Chang, sent a letter to parents on Jan. 2 saying, "If your child has been around someone with pertussis, he/she might become sick with the disease. This is especially true if your child is not up to date with his/her pertussis vaccine shots."

Chang also mentioned that even children who have gotten the vaccination, have a chance of getting the "milder case" of whooping cough.

Pertussis can often start off with cold-like symptoms that may worsen over time such as "long series of coughing fits followed by a whooping noise," stated Chang.

It is required by the New Jersey Department of Health for students entering sixth grade to get a booster shot with a whooping cough vaccine. This vaccine is known as Tpad, which immunizes people from tetanus and diphtheria.

Any parents who have children that may have come in contact with a student who has this disease are encouraged to call their doctor.

As of Wednesday, Jan. 2, no other students have been infected. Chang stated "We will continue to monitor the situation at our schools and if additional actions to control the spread of pertussis among students become necessary, we will again notify parents."

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