ROCHELLE, Ill. (WTVO) — On Monday, Rochelle Community Hospital announced it will not allow visitors under the age of 18 due to recent cases of pertussis in Ogle County.
The hospital says the policy change is to protect patients from Whooping Cough.
Cases of pertussis have been detected at Rochelle High School, Oregon High School and Polo High School.
In addition, the hospital says only two people can visit patients at a time. Also, visitors with severe coughs, fever, sneezing or sore throat are encouraged not to visit patients.
Pertussis can cause violent and rapid coughing, over and over, until the air is gone from your lungs. When there is no more air in the lungs, you are forced to inhale with a loud “whoop” sound, officials said.
Symptoms of pertussis usually develop between five to 10 days after an individual is exposed. Some symptoms don’t develop for as long as three weeks.
Officials said that early symptoms of the disease usually start with cold-like symptoms. Sometimes a mild cough or fever can happen as well.
Other early symptoms include runny nose, low grade fever, mild/occasional cough and apnea.
After a few weeks while the disease progresses, the traditional symptoms of pertussis may include paroxysms (fits) of many, rapid coughs followed by high-pitched “whoop” sound, vomiting and exhaustion, officials said.
The health department suggests if you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms to contact your healthcare provider.
Pertussis can cause serious illness in babies, children, teens, pregnant women and other susceptible adults.
Someone who tests positive for pertussis shouldn’t return to work or school, and should avoid public gatherings until a negative test result is received, officials said.
According to officials, if a test result is positive taking antibiotics immediately is important and staying home for five days is suggested.
The health department also suggests making sure that your family’s vaccinations are up-to-date.
For questions or additional information you can contact the Ogle County Health Department at 815-562-6976.
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