Whooping Cough Cases In McHenry County Spreading

WOODSTOCK (CBS) — An outbreak of whooping cough in McHenry County’s school system has now spread to the general public, according to the health department.

A total of 79 cases have been reported in 12 communities: Algonquin (1), Cary (35), Crystal Lake (9), Fox River Grove (5), Harvard (1), Hebron (1), Huntley/Lake in the Hills (5), Island Lake (1), Johnsburg (1), McHenry (5) and Woodstock (15); ages range from 3 months to 35 years old.

The county’s last significant outbreak came in 2004 (191 cases); last year saw 9 cases, according to the county health department.

The cases of whooping cough were originally isolated to area schools, mostly at Cary-Grove High School, where more than two-dozen cases were reported last month.

Another walk-in vaccination clinic has been scheduled Nov. 16, 2:30 p.m.-7 p.m., at MCDH’s Crystal Lake office (100 N Virginia Street) to provide the Tdap vaccine for those 11 years and older who have not received it in the last 10 years. The cost is $50.

Pertussis is highly contagious and easily spread from person to person through coughing and sneezing. Symptoms such as cough, runny nose, sneezing and low-grade fever can last several weeks and lead to complications like pneumonia, encephalitis or pulmonary hypertension.

For more information on pertussis, visit http://www.mcdh.info or call MCDH at 815-334-4510.

  • Roberta Waker

    Do they have any idea where this started and by whom? Seems it would be important to track down the original case(s) to prevent further outbreaks. Hope everyone recovers and the authorities are able to get it under control.

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