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Case of Whooping Cough Reported at Murphy Junior High

Student cleared to return to school; Suffolk County health department says there has been an increase in the number of cases reported in Suffolk County.

A case of pertussis – also known as whooping cough – has been reported at Murphy Junior High School, according to an announcement posted Tuesday on the Three Village Central School District website.

A school spokesperson said the student has since been cleared to return to school and there is no cause for alarm, but that the notification was posted as part of protocol due to the incubation period of the illness. According to the letter, which is posted as an attachment to this article, the typical incubation period of pertussis can be up to 21 days.

In July, at a summer music program at Gelinas Junior High.

Dr. Gregson H. Pigott of the Suffolk County Division of Public Health said in the letter that the county has seen an increase in cases of pertussis.

"The disease is a highly contagious bacterial disease that is spread through the air by cough from an infected individual," Pigott said. "Children and adults may still develop pertussis even if they are up to date with their vaccinations as immunity to pertussis wanes over the years."

According to the Suffolk County Department of Health Services, children and adults may develop pertussis even if vaccinated due to the decline in immunity to the disease. The letter, 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 or its vaccine.

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