whooping cough

Health Officials Respond To Whooping Cough Outbreak

Nov 29, 2017

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. 


The Winnebago County Health Department is investigating a pertussis outbreak. It’s associated with cases in Rockford Public Schools. The cases are in seven schools including Auburn and Jefferson high schools; West Middle School; and Carlson, Haskell, Riverdahl and West View elementary schools. The outbreak has affected at least two dozen people aged 2 to 42 years of age.

Todd Kisner, with the health department, says those affected are being treated with antibiotics.

Flickr user Mike Mozart / "Whooping Cough Shots Sign CVS Parking Lot, 8/2014 by Mike Mozart of TheToyChannel and JeepersMedia on YouTube" (CC BY 2.0)

Whooping cough might be evolving to outsmart the current vaccine. 

That’s according to a study in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

Researchers says the changing strains may have serious consequences in future outbreaks, but stress the vaccine remains highly effective in protecting the most vulnerable babies.

Illinois part of whooping cough trend

Jul 23, 2012

Nationally, rates of "pertussis" are up.  And Illinois is no exception. The Illinois Department of Public Health reports just over one thousand cases of the disease known as "whooping cough" already this year.