State had most whooping cough cases since 1950

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois had its highest number of whooping cough cases last year since 1950, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health this morning.

There were 2,026 cases of the sickness also known as pertussis among Illinois residents in 2012, preliminary figures showed.

There aren't any current clusters of pertussis in the state, agency spokeswoman Melaney Arnold said.

Champaign County had 30 cases of pertussis in 2012, boosted by the 23 cases linked to an outbreak in Mahomet, according to Rachella Thompson, communicable disease investigator for the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District.

So far this year, the county has had five cases and that would be a more typical figure, Thompson said.

"I haven't seen any clustering, knock on wood," she said.

In Vermilion County, there were two pertussis cases last year. To date this year, there have been one probable and four confirmed cases, with several of the confirmed cases in one family, according to Sherrie Shoemaker, coordinator of communicable disease and immunizations for the county health department.

Pertussis, a highly-contagious respiratory disease, is most active in the spring and fall, Thompson said.

The state is urging parents to make sure their children have received all 14 recommended vaccinations, which include pertussis, before age two.

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kiel wrote on April 17, 2013 at 1:04 pm

Get your children vaccinated! By not doing so you are endangering public health.