Champaign-Urbana Public Health District

Whooping Cough is on the Rise

Friday - Sep 10, 2010

Champaign-Urbana Public Health District Encourages Pertussis Vaccination

Champaign, IL - Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease that is caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), over 445 cases of pertussis have been reported in Illinois to date, with 65 percent of those reported since May 2010. Of the cases reported since May 2010, 45 percent have occurred among school-aged children; over 30 percent have occurred in children under five years-of-age.

Pertussis is a highly infectious illness that is easily transmitted through coughing and sneezing and may persist among a population for weeks to months. Symptoms of pertussis usually occur five to 10 days after exposure, but can take up to 21 days to appear. Initially symptoms are similar to a common cold: a runny nose, low-grade fever, and a mild occasional cough. However, the cough can become severe and spasmodic - with a distinctive "whooping" sound - and can progress to vomiting between bouts of coughing.

Read the full press relase. (PDF)