A handful of students in the Fairport School District have been diagnosed with pertussis – better known as whooping cough.

The Monroe County Health Department says that makes about fifteen to twenty cases in our county since the first of the year.  

The bacterial infection is highly contagious, and can be fatal in infants.

Pertussis spreads from person to person through sneezing, coughing, or being in close proximity with someone who is infected.

“Where the name whooping cough comes from – which is synonymous with pertussis – is you cough so rapidly and so frequently that you actually expel most of the air out of your lungs, and it results in this whooping sound,” said John Ricci of the Monroe County Health Department. “So you actually have trouble catching your breath.”

Whooping cough is usually treated with very common antibiotics. Most people are usually contagious for two weeks from when the cough began.