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Whooping cough reported in Dist. 220
Daily Herald Staff Report
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Published: 11/26/2008 12:02 AM | Updated: 11/25/2008 5:30 PM

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Barrington Area Unit District 220 has issued an alert to the community that four cases of pertussis have been reported in its schools.

Pertussis, commonly called whooping cough, has become more widespread in this year in Lake County, where health officials have reported 82 confirmed cases as of Nov. 21. That compares to 20 in 2007.

District 220 did not indicate which specific schools were affected, though the health department said about 60 percent of cases involved children 5 to 11.

Whooping cough can be highly contagious and can be similar to a common cold or flu, though can be serious is severe cases. Symptoms can include a cough lasting more than seven days and coughing fits. Anyone with symptoms should contact a physician.

Most area cases have been mild since most were in children who were vaccinated, authorities said.

Basic prevention includes hand washing with soapy water and coughing into a tissue or sleeve. Children should be reminded not to share drinks, eating utensils or lip balms.

District 220 is out of session until Monday for the Thanksgiving holiday.