Report: At least one case of whooping cough at Palatine High School
At least one case of whooping cough has been reported at Palatine High School, the Cook County Department of Public Health reported Thursday.
Palatine-Schaumburg Township High School District 211 spokesman Tom Petersen said an email was sent out to parents of Palatine High students as soon as the health department reported the case.
The message informs parents that the health department will notify them if their child has been in close contact with someone who's contracted whooping cough. Any student who has had contact should see their doctor and, if diagnosed with the illness, should call the school nurse.
Students diagnosed with pertussis must be excluded from school until after 5 days of antibiotic treatment, and a doctor's note must be presented upon return to school, Petersen said.
Deanna Durica, the health department's interim director for policy development and communications, said whooping cough is not an uncommon occurrence in the county, noting there were 81 cases reported last year.
According to the health department's website, whooping cough, or pertussis, is a highly contagious bacterial infection. The first symptoms resemble a common cold, but then may progress to severe coughing fits. The cough usually lasts several weeks.
Durica said whooping cough is a preventable disease with proper vaccination. Vaccines to prevent whooping cough should be administered at 2, 4, 6, and 15 months of age, and then a booster at 4-6 years of age, according to the public health department website.