PV Schools

Dear Putnam Valley Community :

As required by the New York State Department of Health, we are notifying you that a person in our high school was recently diagnosed with pertussis (whooping cough). Pertussis is an illness particularly notable for its severe and long-lasting cough. The following information has been provided by the Putnam County Department of Health.

Pertussis is a highly contagious disease spread through the air by coughing or sneezing.  Pertussis begins with cold symptoms followed by a cough that becomes much worse over 1-2 weeks. Symptoms usually include a long series of coughs (“coughing fits”) sometimes followed by a whooping noise. However, older children, adults, and very young infants may not develop the whoop. There is generally only a slight fever. People with pertussis may have a series of coughs followed by vomiting, turning blue, or difficulty catching breath. The cough is often worse at night and cough medicines usually do not help alleviate the cough.

If you have been experiencing a cough illness, a visit to the doctor is highly recommended.  You should be tested (PCR test) by your health care provider.

Vaccination is the best defense against Pertussis.

Please consider the following Putnam County Department of Health recommendations:

  1. Vaccinate your child following the recommended guidelines which include a pertussis-containing vaccine (Dtap) at 2, 4, 6, and 15-18 months of age.  A booster dose is given at 4-6 years.  A Tdap booster is given at ages 11-12.

  2. Adults are often carriers and should receive one Tdap booster in their adult life. Adults do not have to wait until their next Td (Tetanus/Diptheria) booster is due, they can receive Tdap at any time.

  3. Infants under one year old, especially those under six months, are most likely to have severe symptoms if they develop pertussis. When possible young infants should be kept away from people with a cough. Infants with any coughing illness should be seen promptly by their doctor.

If you have further concerns or questions please contact your doctor or the Putnam County Department of Health at
(845) 808-1390.

Thank you,

Dr. Jeremy Luft
Superintendent of Schools