Metro-East News

Seven Illinois schools see whooping cough outbreak

Vaccines by the Numbers: A public health achievement

Between 2001 and 2010, the United States saw big declines in the number of cases of vaccine-preventable diseases. Because of this, vaccines are one of the top public health achievements of the decade.
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Between 2001 and 2010, the United States saw big declines in the number of cases of vaccine-preventable diseases. Because of this, vaccines are one of the top public health achievements of the decade.

Seven schools in Champaign County have confirmed whooping cough cases, with a total of 40 cases so far.

The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District confirmed 40 cases of pertussis, 27 of which have been confirmed since mid-October. Rantoul High School has 20 confirmed cases alone, according to the News-Gazette.

This video from the Center of Disease Control demonstrates how to correctly collect and transport a nasopharyngeal swab for pertussis, or whooping cough, diagnostic testing.

The latest confirmed cases involve two students in Mahomet, Illinois: A third-grader and seventh-grader have each come down with pertussis, a contagious bacterial disease that can take weeks for recovery.

Treatment is a five-day course of antibiotics, which is often delayed since pertussis starts with symptoms similar to the common cold.

Last year Champaign County saw only seven cases. Pertussis is preventable via the Tdap vaccine, which is given in infancy and a booster at age 4-6. It is a combined vaccination with diphtheria and tetanus, and boosters are also recommended for adults, especially those who may have contact with young children.

More information on pertussis can be found at the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Elizabeth Donald: 618-239-2507, @BNDedonald

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