JACKSON – A fourth case of pertussis—whooping cough—has been confirmed in the Jackson Township School District, this time at Jackson Liberty High School.
The district sent a letter to parents April 29 stating “the student affected has received the appropriate treatment and is no longer contagious.”
The first confirmed case this year occurred at Elms Elementary School in March. Parents were alerted of the second at Holman Elementary School April 4, and the third at McAuliffe Middle School April 12.
Dr. Stephen Genco, superintendent of schools, said the district is working closely with the Ocean County Health Department to monitor cases and alert families when necessary.
Pertussis is a highly contagious airborne disease spread through coughing or sneezing. Cold symptoms initially develop, and after one to two weeks worsen. Coughs are usually worse at night, followed by a “whooping” sound that is not eased with cough suppressant. Coughing fits may lead to vomiting, turning blue and being unable to catch one’s breath.
Anyone suspecting their child has pertussis should take him to his primary care physician, and keep him home from school to avoid spreading the disease. Even if vaccinated, anyone who comes into contact whooping cough may catch it.