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38 Cases of Whooping Cough Confirmed in Smithtown

Suffolk County Department of Health Services announced 40 cases of whooping cough throughout Suffolk County, 38 of which are in the Town of Smithtown.

Thirty-eight cases of pertussis, also known as whooping cough, have been reported in the Town of Smithtown, the Suffolk County Department of Health Services announced Wednesday.

According to health services, with the confirmed pertussis cases, 40 in total throughout Suffolk County, information on the bacterial respiratory illness has been given to camp directors to be disbursed to parents and camp staff.

Suffolk County Health Commissioner James L. Tomarken announced June 21 that . The cases were confirmed in St. James Elementary School, Tackan Elementary School and Nesaquake Middle School.

The health department said all the infected children in the district had been immunized, which explains why they only came down with mild cases of the infection. Health officials said parents should confirm their kids immunizations are up to date.

At its worst, pertussis, which early on mimics cold symptoms, can cause a violent cough that can last for weeks or months.

Health officials said pertussis immunization may be only 80 percent effective and that protection from the vaccine often fades by the pre-pubescent years. 

Tomarken said that adults who are in close contact with infants less than 12 months old who have not been immunized should call their doctor.

Pertussis is treated with antibiotics.

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