• Pertussis "The 100 day Cough"
    Pertussis is a highly contagious disease that is spread through the air by cough.  Pertussis begins with cold symptoms and a cough which becomes much worse over 1-2 weeks.  Symptoms usually include a long series of coughs ("coughing fits") followed by a whooping noise.  However, older children, adults, and very young infants may not develop the whoop.  There is generally no fever.  People with pertussis may have a series of coughs followed by vomiting, turning blue, or difficulty catching breath.  The cough is often worse at night and cough medicines usually do not help alleviate the cough.
    Sometimes a child can get sick with pertussis after being around someone with pertussis.  This is especially true when the child has not received all the pertussis vaccine shots.  If a child has received the pertussis shot, as in this case, the child can still develop pertussis, but it will be a milder case.  The pertussis vaccine is the "P" part of the DTaP, the Tdap, or the DTP.  Some vaccines are simply Td without the pertussis component.  Ask your health care provider if your child had the pertussis vaccine with his or her tetanus shot.  New 2012-2013 Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) rules state that students must have the Dtap or Tdap before they enter 6th &/or 9th grades. 
    If your child has a high chance of getting sick, his or her healthcare provider can give antibiotics to lower that chance.  If your child is already sick, giving antibiotics early can help your child get well faster and lower the chances of spreading the disease to others.  Here are some topics from trusted pertussis resources:
    IDPH Alerts Public to Pertussis Outbreak



Last Modified on February 27, 2014