Commack school officials are warning parents that a camper at one of the district's summer programs has a confirmed case of pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough.
Superintendent Donald James said the district received word an individual attending Cougar Camp Session III from July 9 to July 13 at Commack High School was diagnosed with pertussis in a letter to parents dated July 19, published on the district's website.
"This individual is being treated by his or her doctor and is no longer attending the camp. As Pertussis is highly contagious, it is possible that subsequent cases will be diagnosed," James wrote.
There have have been 11 cases of whooping cough, in Commack School District since December 2011. The was at Commack High School in May.
James directed parents to a letter from the Suffolk County Department of Health explaining the disease, how it is spread, and how it is treated. The letter is posted online for all parents to read via the Internet.
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 usually takes 7 to 10 days for symptoms to develop, but in some cases may not show 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.
James' letter also mentions that a new combination Tetanus/Pertussis vaccine is now available.
Parents and staff to call the county Department of Health Services at 631-853-3055 if they have questions about the disease and the Pertussis vaccine.