Updated: 02/09/2014 11:17 PM
Created: 02/09/2014 6:36 PM WHEC.com
By: Joangel Concepcion
A serious and highly contagious sickness is making a strong comeback to our area and it has even made its way into some local schools.
Health experts say they're starting to see a solid handful of whooping cough cases.
As you get ready Sunday night to send your children back to school Monday, this is something parents need to know about.
Health officials have confirmed five separate cases around Monroe County.
Two of those cases are in schools, one at McQuaid in Brighton and another at the Saint Lawrence School in Greece. Those parents should have already been alerted by those schools about the cases.
Three more cases have been confirmed, including another in Greece, one in Hilton and the final case in Henrietta.
This is a dangerous respiratory illness that affects teens and especially babies.
The Monroe County Department of Health hasn't issued an official warning or alert about this, but this is something they want parents to take very seriously, especially because it's very contagious and can be fatal.
Health officials say there are usually about 50 to 100 cases of whopping cough per year. So far 2014 is off to a very active start. Several cases have been reported within the last few weeks.
It's not just here. Many cases have been reported throughout the state and the country.
Health officials are calling it a resurgence. They say part of the reason seems to be problems with the vaccine.
It was modified within the last few years and now health officials say it seems as if it's not as effective.
Still, health officials say they want children and teens to get the vaccine as scheduled anyway, and to have parents pay close attention to symptoms.
“The best thing you can do to protect your family is to make sure everyone gets the Pertussis vaccine. Other than that, make sure you are being careful with hand washing. Hopefully people aren't coughing in each other's faces. That also helps prevent it. Anything that's not getting better in a two week period of time, you should contact your practitioner to get tested for it,” said Timothy Hessert, Pediatrician at Rochester Immediate Care.
Right now the CDC is reviewing the effectiveness of that vaccine. A lot of times the vaccine tends to wear off during teenage years, so there have been talks to add another booster shot. That is still under review at this time.