North Suburban School Deals With Pertussis Outbreak

Bernie Tafoya
November 12, 2019 - 3:39 pm

LINCOLNSHIRE (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- More students have come down with whooping cough at Stevenson High School as the north suburban school urges parents to be pro-active.

Stevenson High School public information coordinator Jim Conrey said two more students were diagnosed with cases of pertussis or whooping cough on Monday. That brings to 35 the number of students who’ve come down with the illness since late September.

"Bottom line is, if a parent finds that they have a student that has a persistent cough, and has had a persistent cough for a few days, they should seek medical attention right away,” Conrey said.

Parents should not it can still be whooping cough, or pertussis, even if there’s no telltale “whooping” sound.

They should ask doctors to do a test for pertussis. He says in some cases, "Doctors have been misdiagnosing the illness or just refusing to do the test as requested by public health officials."

Conrey said it's unlikely a teenager will become seriously ill from pertussis, but they can spread the illness to others for whom pertussis can be dangerous: infants and young children, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.

Other schools in Lake County have also seen cases of pertussis, just not as many cases as Stevenson has seen with its student population of 4,310, Conrey said.