Second ETHS student diagnosed with whooping cough this year

Paige Leskin, City Editor

A student at Evanston Township High School has been diagnosed with whooping cough, according to a letter sent out Monday to students’ parents. This is the second case at the school this year.

The student, who has been diagnosed and treated, is the second person at ETHS in three months to contract the illness, which is easily transmissible. A student who participated in the school’s summer programming was diagnosed in late August, right around the time when ETHS opened for the academic year.

Whooping cough is highly contagious and can be transmitted through coughing and sneezing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Carl Caneva, Evanston’s assistant health director, said this time of the year is when the city usually sees an influx of whooping cough cases. In order to prevent further spread of the illness, parents should be “vigilant” in monitoring their children and any symptoms they may have, he said.

Symptoms of whooping cough are very similar to those of the common cold, including runny nose and fever, but can escalate to rapid coughs and vomiting, according to the CDC. Symptoms don’t appear until seven to 10 days after exposure to the illness.

Caneva advised parents to keep their children home if they show any symptoms or exhibit a fever.

The letter from ETHS asked parents to keep those infected from attending school or social activities for at least five days after treatment begins.

Although an outbreak is impossible to predict, officials are ensuring that all the appropriate people are made aware of the illness, Evanston Director of Health Evonda Thomas-Smith told The Daily in August after the first case had been announced.

“It is considered one of the highly contagious infectious conditions,” she said. “It could last for a long period of time and people can go untreated, so that is why we’re really concerned about it.”

Students can take basic steps by practicing personal hygiene, such as washing their hands and covering their mouths when coughing and sneezing, in order to help prevent the spread of infection, Caneva said.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @paigeleskin