WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Ill. (WIFR) - The Winnebago County Health Department says there have been 19 confirmed cases of pertussis including students in the Rockford, Harlem, and Rockton school districts.
The health department says the illness can be spread by coughing, sneezing or spending too much time with an infected person.
They say people of any age can become sick, but pertussis is very serious in babies under one year, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems.
The health department says to protect our families we should be vaccinated against pertussis, stay home when we are sick, cover our cough, throw out used tissues and wash our hands.
According to the health department, symptoms of pertussis include:
• A runny nose, low-grade fever
• Fits of many, rapid coughs followed by a high‐pitched “whoop” sound
• Throwing up during or after coughing fits
• Coughing may be worse at night, disrupting sleep
• Being very tired after coughing fits
• Apnea in babies – a pause in breathing