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Health Officials Respond To Whooping Cough Outbreak


Public health officials want parents and students to be aware of a whooping cough outbreak in Champaign County. 

There are seven confirmed pertussis -- or whooping cough -- cases in Champaign County schools, with 27 since October. Most involve high school students.

Dr. Arwais Vaid, epidemiologist for the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, explained pertussis vaccines tend to wear off in children around 12 years of age. "So a lot of times, boosters are required, and even with that booster, the vaccine does not provide 100% immunity," Vaid said. 

Vaid added that whooping cough is not usually fatal, but it is dangerous for people with compromised immune systems or other health conditions. Antibiotics can clear up the infection, so Vaid says if you notice a persistent cough accompanied by a high pitched "whoop," be sure to get to a doctor right away.