Case of Whooping Cough Reported at Suburban High School

The Cook County Department of Public Health confirmed that a 17-year old student was infected with the illness

A case of whooping cough, also known as pertussis, has been reported at a northwest suburban high school.

The Cook County Department of Public Health confirmed Saturday that a 17-year old student from Glenbrook North High School was infected with the illness.

A spokesperson from District 225 in Northbrook told the Chicago Tribune that the student last went to school on Jan. 14.

Since then, there have not been many chances for the illness to spread, according to the report. Students had Friday Jan. 15 off for a reserved snow day, and Monday Jan. 18 off for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, according to the school’s website. The next three days were reserved for final exams, and students also had Jan. 22 off for an institute day.

Whooping cough is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection. It initially resembles an ordinary cold but can turn more serious, especially in infants and young children.

Symptoms typically do not appear until five to 10 days after initial exposure but can take as long as 21 days, according to the CCDPH. Symptoms include those similar to a common cold, including a runny nose, sneezing, and a low-grade fever.

Those infected with pertussis may experience coughing fits particularly at night, and vomiting after coughing, according to the CCDPH. The cough associated with pertussis can last several weeks.

Whooping cough is easily transmitted through coughing and sneezing, but preventable with proper vaccination.

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