Contagious Cough Back In District 205

- ROCKFORD- The Rockford Public School district has yet another student who is sick with the whooping cough, a highly contagious illness that is spread through coughing and germs on their hands.

This is not the first time that Carlson Elementary parent Joshua Upsahl has dealt with a whooping cough scare. He says his son got the contagious cough back in November.

“My son actually had it once before, so now we know the signs of if it happens again we know what to expect.”

Now, he has received another notice saying that the whooping cough is back.

Upsahl told Eyewitness News on Friday that Carlson Elementary sent his son home with the letter that warned parents about the illness being spread at school.

“The note said that there was a child with whooping cough that was sent home from school, and for us to keep an eye out on our own children. They advised us to seek medical treatment if that if we started noticing any symptoms.”

It is the third time in four months that Rockford public schools have sent notifications home about kids with the whooping cough.The illness attacks the upper respiratory system with bacteria and causes fever and chills. Andrea Giamalva, a MD for Swedish American Hospital said that the cough is highly contagious.

“The whooping cough is very contagious. Similar to the common cold, so if you are in contact with someone who may have it and you inhale any of their respiratory droplets you are going to be at risk

While treatable, pertussis is also preventable. Children are not supposed to start school until they complete all of their vaccinations.

Many day cares like Trinity daycare center in Rockford follow the same requirements for the vaccine process.  They work closely with the Rockford Public Schools.

Danielle Ritter the executive director of the Trinity daycare center says that if children do not have their vaccines, they are not able to participate in the programs at her center.

“The bottom line is they need know their child really can not be enrolled and participate in programming if they do not cooperate with physicals and vaccinations.”

So why is Rockford seeing these cases?

They would not comment on camera about the situation, but doctors say schools need to be especially vigilant in checking if children have the proper vaccinations.

“If we have the vaccine available and we know that we can protect against this type of infection we need to be really diligent about addressing that and getting these vaccines done.” said Doctor Giamalva.

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