Illinois reports 445 whooping cough cases in 2010

Over 445 whooping cough cases have been reported in Illinois in 2010, with almost 65 percent of those reported since May.

Of the cases reported since May, 45 percent have been reported among school-aged children and over 30 percent of the cases have been reported in children under the age of five, according to

The Illinois Department of Public Health is now recommending that close contacts of anyone with pertussis receive antibiotic treatment even if they have been previously vaccinated.

Close contacts include members of the same household and those who have had direct contact with respiratory, oral or nasal secretions of the infected, or those that have been within three feet of a pertussis victim for at least ten minutes, reports.

The IDPH announced that it expects many schools to experience pertussis cases during the school year and encourages schools to continue to report any students or staff suspected of having contracted the disease to their local health department. The IDPH hopes to assist schools in implementing control measures to reduce the illness’s spread.

Several states have reported a significant rise in the number of pertussis cases that they have seen this year. Illinois joins Idaho, Michigan, Ohio, Oregon, Nebraska, South Carolina and Texas in reporting increases. Arizona, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin and New York are all on track to exceed last year’s totals as well, according to CIDRAP News.