Officials at Rockford Public Schools has confirmed a case of pertussis, or whooping cough, at RESA Middle School.

A letter has been sent home to families which encourages parents to look for symptoms of the illness, which include:

- Runny nose
- Sneezing
- Low-grade fever
- Cough; if untreated, gradually becomes severe and increases at night; vomiting may occur


Transmission of pertussis can be greatly reduced using the following strategies:
- Frequent hand washing, especially after coughing and sneezing
- Covering the mouth when coughing or sneezing
- Disposing of used tissues properly


Pertussis is treatable with antibiotics. It is caused by a bacterium that lives in the mouth, nose and throat. The germ is highly contagious and can be easily spread from person to person through coughing and sneezing.


To learn more about Pertussis, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or contact the Winnebago County Health Department at 815-720-4000.

This isn't the first time that pertussis has popped up in Rockord schools. Last fall, two cases were found at Rolling Green and Swan Hillman. In February there was a case at Carlson Elementary. Experts say whooping cough and measles are making a comeback due to the growing number of parents who won't vaccinate their children.

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