SMITHTOWN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Officials on eastern Long Island are reporting an outbreak of whooping cough, also known as pertussis.
Thirteen students in three schools in Smithtown have been confirmed with the contagious bacterial infection.READ MORE: 2 Dozen Members Of Military Begin Serving As Pandemic Reinforcements At Newark's University Hospital
Health officials in Suffolk County said Tuesday they had alerted area pediatricians and had given advice to school officials on how to control the outbreak.
Suffolk County Health Department Spokesperson Grace Kelly-McGovern spoke with WCBS 880 Tuesday and called pertussis “very contagious.”
“Most people will recover from the pertussis. It’s mostly a concern for infants who don’t have the immunization or full immunization,” she said.READ MORE: NYPD Narcotics Detective Wounded In Shooting On Staten Island Hailed As Hero For Protecting Fellow Officers
Pertussis causes an uncontrollable, violent cough lasting several weeks or even months. It may begin with cold-like symptoms or a dry cough that progresses to episodes of severe coughing. It is spread from person to person.
Officials said all of the Smithtown students had been immunized, helping to reduce the severity of their illness.
“There is immunization that most children receive, which would probably mean…these children — from what I’ve learned — they are having milder symptoms than if they hadn’t been immunized,” Kelly-McGovern said.MORE NEWS: Search Continues For Gunman After 11-Month-Old Shot By Stray Bullet In Bronx
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