Whooping cough was diagnosed for a second time at a Jackson school.

The highly contagious disease, marked by violent coughing that makes it difficult to breath, has been diagnosed for a second time in Jackson, this time at Jackson Liberty High School.

A case was confirmed in December at the McAuliffe Middle School. Other cases were reported at schools in Millstone, Lakewood and Freehold over the past several months. The disease is also known by its formal name, pertussis.

In a letter sent sent to all Jackson parents, school superintendent Dr. Stephen Genco  wrote that the student "has received the appropriate treatment and is no longer contagious."

He urged parents to monitor their own health and that of their children, and to tell their doctors immediately if they come down with cold-like symptoms. He said the doctors should be told someone in the school has been diagnosed with pertussis.

According to the New Jersey Deptartment of Health, symptoms of pertussis include sneezing, coughing, runny noise and ever.

Within two weeks, the cough becomes more serious with episodes of rapid, uncontrollable coughing spasms followed by a high pitched “whoop” sound when the person tries to take a breath.

he coughing spasm may also be followed by gagging or vomiting. These coughing spells can make breathing, eating and sleeping very hard. A final recovery stage with coughing may last weeks or months.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the best prevention against whooping cough is the vaccine DTap, a combination vaccine that helps protect against three diseases: diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis.

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