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Whooping Cough Case Identified At Auburn High School

Pertussis, or whooping cough, has made its presence into the Rockford public school district.

Last Friday, a letter was sent out regarding an Auburn High School student with a confirmed case of pertussis.

Families of West View Elementary and West Middle School also received letters about probable cases that have been reported.

Pertussis is easily mistaken as a bad cold, but its symptoms are more severe and can last up to 100 days.

Symptoms begin with a runny nose, sneezing, and a low-grade fever. Pertussis is characterized by a deep, persisting cough that worsens at night and over time.

Todd Kisner is the interim director at the Winnebago County Health Department’s Center for Health Protection and Promotion.

“A child should get their pertussis vaccine at 2, 4, 6, and 15 months of age, and then another dose at 4 to 6 years of age,” Kisner said.

All of those infected by the illness are receiving treatment. Kisner emphasizes staying up-to-date with vaccines and tracking symptoms.

“Our case was vaccinated accordingly…in this case, it wasn’t quite effective with this individual,” Kisner said.

He recommends taking precautions of the common cold to prevent transmission of this illness.

Health officials urge families to contact their doctor if symptoms of pertussis are exhibited.

They also request families contact their school and health department with information of potential cases.