MONTCLAIR, NJ - A positive test for pertussis at Montclair High School. Just what does that news mean for Montclair Public School parents and students? 

On Tuesday, Montclair School District officials announced that students may have been exposed to a person who tested positive for pertussis at Montclair High School. Parents are urged to take precautions and to look for symptoms.

Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by bacteria that live in the mouth, nose and throat of an infected individual. It can affect people of all ages.

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First symptoms are similar to the common cold and result in sneezing, coughing, runny nose, and fever. However, within a matter of two weeks, the cough can take on more serious bouts of coughing spasms followed by a high pitched "whoop" sound, as the person tries to take in a breath.

Whooping cough is most harmful for young babies and can be deadly. Pertussis can be treated with antibiotics and prevented with a vaccine.

Frequently Asked Questions about pertussis.

Any suspected or confirmed cases must be immediately reported to the Montclair Health Department.