Pertussis(whooping cough) - confirmed case
February 16, 2012
There is a student at Davenport Elementary School that has been identified as having a confirmed case of pertussis (whooping cough). Pertussis is a highly infectious and usually mild illness that is easily transmitted through coughing and sneezing and may last for several months. Currently, a regional outbreak of pertussis is occurring in DuPage, Kendall, Kane, McHenry, and Will counties.
Symptoms of pertussis may appear 5 to 10 days following exposure but can take up to 21 days. The first symptoms of pertussis are similar to those of a common cold: a runny nose, low-grade fever and a mild occasional cough which can become severe and spasmodic - with a distinctive “whooping” sound - and progress to vomiting.
Although most people recover completely from pertussis, complications from the disease can be severe in high risk groups, especially infants under one year.
The Illinois Department of Public Health recommends that all close contacts to a person with a case of pertussis receive antibiotic treatment even if they have been vaccinated against it. The health department is tracking the close contacts of persons with pertussis.
• If you are notified by a letter from the health department that your child has been a close contact of a case, please contact your child’s physician to advise them regarding your child’s exposure to pertussis and to arrange for antibiotic treatment.
• If you are not notified that your child has been identified as a close contact of a case, just be on the alert for symptoms of pertussis described above and contact your health provider if the symptoms appear. In addition, frequent handwashing and respiratory hygiene (e.g. covering your cough, coughing into tissues, disposing of tissues promptly) are important practices that help to limit the spread of infection.
If you or your physician have any further questions, please contact the
DeKalb County Health Department Communicable Disease Program at 815-748-2467.
Jane E. Olson, RN, BSN
Illinois Certified School Nurse