Digital Access

Digital Access
Access theherald-news.com and all Shaw Media Illinois content from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, sports, business, classified and more! News you can use every day.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Choose your news! Select the text alerts you want to receive: breaking news, weather, and more.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
Have our latest news, sports and obituaries emailed directly to you Monday through Friday so you can keep up with what's happening in the area.
Local News

Will County Health Department warn residents of whooping cough surge

The Will County Health Department on Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015, in Joliet.
The Will County Health Department on Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015, in Joliet.

Will County Health Department officials want residents to be on alert because of a surge in cases of pertussis, commonly known as “whooping cough,” throughout northeast Illinois.

Whooping cough can affect people year round, and colder weather keeping everyone indoors can lead to more transmissions of the disease, according to a news release.

“Often people hear the coughing and think it’s just seasonal allergies, asthma or the flu,” Alpesh Patel, an epidemiologist at the health department, said in the release. “But when the persistent mild or moderate cough has lasted two weeks, you really need to think about pertussis.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes whooping cough as “uncontrollable, violent coughing which often causes a person to need to take deep breaths, which results in a ‘whooping sound.’”

Patel said that while immunization against pertussis is the best protection, the disease can still be transmitted to anyone who is exposed to cough droplets.

He said that medical providers should be open to the possibility that a familiar problem might actually be pertussis.

Whooping cough also can strike people of all different ages at any time of the year. Since it is spread by droplets, residents are advised to cover their mouths and wash their hands frequently.

“It’s best to always check with your doctor on whether you are up to date on immunizations and if you might need a booster,” Patel said in the release. “As your medical provider to check for this.”

For information on pertussis, visit cdc.gov/pertussis.

Loading more