Champaign County sees whooping cough outbreak

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WAND)- Champaign County health officials report 28 cases of whooping cough at schools around the county.

Of those, 20 cases are at Rantoul Township High School, while officials have also found cases at J.W. Eater Jr. High School, Heritage High School, Mahomet-Seymour schools, Villa Grove High School and Thomasboro Grade School, according to communicable disease investigator Rachella Thompson-Brown.

Thompson-Brown said the illness, which is spread by droplets from coughing or sneezing, begins with cold-like symptoms but develops into more severe coughing fits that can lead to vomiting.  

"For the general population, it's really just a bad cough,” Thompson-Brown said. “You can have some other mild complications. However, for infants and for people that are immuno-compromised or people who are elderly, the symptoms can become more severe."

Thompson-Brown said schools notify parents when they learn of a case of the illness.

"My recommendation would be if you're a parent and you've gotten one of these letters and your child has a cold, just kind of be watchful and see if it does develop into a cough, and a cough that doesn't seem to be going away,” Thompson-Brown said. “At that point, I would definitely contact a physician."

So far this year, state health officials have reported 551 cases of whooping cough. Listed below is a breakdown of cases by county, provided by the Illinois Department of Public Health:

Alexander: 1

Boone: 2

Champaign: 37

Christian: 3

Clark: 2

Clay: 4

Clinton: 1

Coles: 1

Cook: 206

Crawford: 2

Douglas: 10

DuPage: 26

Hardin: 1

Henderson: 3

Jefferson: 1

Jo Daviess: 1

Kane: 11

Kendall: 3

Knox: 1

Lake: 63

Lasalle: 2

Macon: 2

Macoupin: 1

Madison: 15

Marion: 2

Marshall: 1

McHenry: 25

McLean: 3

Mercer: 8

Moultrie: 3

Ogle: 1

Peoria: 6

Perry: 2

Piatt: 1

Pike: 1

Pope: 1

Randolph: 3

Richland: 1

Rock Island: 19

Sangamon: 3

Shelby: 1

St. Clair: 10

Tazewell: 6

Vermilion: 10

Warren: 1

Washington: 1

Wayne: 1

Will: 7

Williamson: 2

Winnebago: 32

Woodford: 1

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