UPDATE: Whooping cough case confirmed at RESA Middle School

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UPDATE: ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR)-- It's that time of year to have a runny nose or cough,but whooping cough is something that can be far more dangerous if not dealt with right away. While R.P.S. 205 announced a confirmed case of whooping cough, physicians say there's no need to sound the alarm, yet. Physicians say typically those at risk of the infection are students who were within three feet of the infected student for more than ten minutes. Secondly the chances of getting whooping cough are low if students are up to date on their vaccinations.

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"As an adult or child going off to college, or something like that, it might be time for a booster," explained Todd Kisner, Director for Center of Health Protection, Winnebago County Health Department. "But in looking at the elementary school children we're working with, as long as they've gotten their vaccination, should be protected from the infection disease."

A local pediatrician says his concern is that there has been a slow rise in whooping cough over the last ten years.

"You let down your guard, if you stop vaccinating, if vaccination rates drop below a certain percentage because of something called herd immunity, the disease comes back," said Dr. John Perryman, Pediatrician, Mercyhealth. "I think that may be part of whats happening with whooping cough."

Doctors biggest concern is any child exposed to whooping cough dragging those germs back into a house where there may be a baby under a year old. Infants are at the greatest risk of purtosis being deadly. Doctors say the vaccines such as Tdap not only protect us from getting infections such as whooping cough, but keep us from spreading the disease. The Winnebago County Health Department says if you see pertussis symptoms, such as running nose, sneezing, fever, and cough, contact your pediatrician to have your child checked out.

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- Parents of students at RESA Middle School receive a letter confirming a case of pertussis, or whooping cough at the school.

In the letter, the RPS 205 Health Services Office says the person diagnosed with whopping cough is being treated. The say anyone who may have been in contact with that person may need to be treated as well.

According to the Winnebago County Health Department symptoms of whooping cough include runny nose, sneezing, low-grade fever, and a cough which left untreated can gradually become severe and increase at night and possibly lead to vomiting.

Health officials say the highly contagious disease can be spread from coughing or sneezing. Doctors believe transmission of whooping cough can be reduced by frequent hand washing, covering the mouth when coughing or sneezing, and properly disposing of tissues.