All of the reported or suspected cases have been among children under 12, but they are from different schools, the communicable disease surveillance officer for the department said. She said officials and parents at a school are notified whenever a case is confirmed.
Pertussis, commonly known a whooping cough, is a highly infectious disease that is easily transmitted through coughing and sneezing. Symptoms appear within five to 10 days of exposure.
In Winnebago County, 38 cases of whooping cough have been documented since the end of October, compared to just one case in all of last year.
The northern Illinois county's health department says 28 of the cases involve a private school. The other 10 are unrelated to that group.
Although most people recover completely, complications from the disease can be severe in high-risk groups, especially infants under one year and children who have not been fully immunized against the disease, the release said.
Audio from City of Evanston Health & Human Services: Coughing Fit | Whoop