Whooping cough confirmed at Carlson Elementary School

Online Staff Report

A case of pertussis, or whooping cough, has been confirmed at Carlson Elementary School, according to a letter sent to parents Wednesday, Feb. 19.

Parents are encouraged to contact school nurses, the District 205 Health Services Office or the Winnebago County Health Department for more information or if their children have symptoms.

Whooping cough is caused by bacteria that lives in the mouth, nose and throat. It is highly contagious and is spread through sneezing and coughing. Early signs and symptoms include runny nose, sneezing, low-grade fever and cough. Left untreated, pertussis can become severe, causing nausea and vomiting.

Transmission of pertussis can be greatly reduced by frequent hand washing, covering the mouth when coughing and sneezing, and disposing of tissues immediately after use.

The condition is treated medically with antibiotics.

The infected Carlson Elementary student is not in school, as of this report.

For more information, contact the Rockford Public Schools Health Services Office at (815) 966-5254, or the Winnebago County Health Department at (815) 720-4000.

To learn more about pertussis, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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