A fourth person within the Commack School District has been diagnosed with Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, Superintendent Donald James confirmed Tuesday, Feb. 21 in a statement on the district website.
The individual is from, and will return to school once they are treated, James said. This is the in as many months to be diagnosed at Burr.
In January, a person from was diagnosed with the disease. The first case was confirmed at in December. Though only three cases have been confirmed so far, James noted the diease is highly contagious and may spread.
"Pertussis is highly contagious. Therefore, it is possible that subsequent cases will be diagnosed," James said.
A letter from the Suffolk County Department of Health explaining the disease, how it is spread, and how it is treated has been mailed to the parents of Burr students.
The message posted on the district website provides information about the disease and directs parents and staff to call the county Department of Health Services at 631-853-3055, with questions about the disease and the Pertussis vaccine.
According to the Suffolk County Department of health, Pertussis is a highly contagious bacterial respiratory illness that is spread through the air by cough from an infected individual. It can take up to three weeks for symptoms to develop and last for up to six weeks.
Symptoms include fever and coughing fits accompanied by long whooping sounds and or vomiting/gagging. In some cases, whooping cough can be fatal to infants who are not fully immunized.