DIXON – Pertussis, or whooping cough as it is commonly known, continues to be a local health concern, and KSB Hospital is providing help against the illness.
The hospital will offer screening clinics for those 5 and older Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon at the Town Square Centre Lab, 102 S. Hennepin Ave.; drive-in services will available from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the emergency department ambulance bay at the hospital, 403 E. First St.
Insurance information will be taken.
Whooping cough is caused by Bordetella pertussis bacteria that is attached to short hairs in the upper respiratory system. It causes uncontrollable, violent coughing, which sounds like a whoop, and difficulty in breathing.
Babies, those who are pregnant or who have chronic obstructive lung disease are at high risk, KSB Chief Medical Officer Pratip Nag said in a news release.
“If you have been coughing or having coughing fits for approximately a week, you may have pertussis and will want to take advantage of the screening,” Nag said. “We put together this effort to actively screen anyone with a cough in our schools and community so that we can treat them and their household members. By doing this, we can put a stop to this life-threatening outbreak in our community.”
The number of reported pertussis cases in Lee, Ogle and Whiteside counties are “a little alarming,” infection specialist Heather Smith said last week.
Because of the outbreak, visitor restrictions are in effect.
Children younger than 18 are not allowed to visit patients, and visits are limited to two adults per patient at any time. Those who have rapid cough, coughing fits, low-grade fevers, runny noses or exhaustion also are asked not to visit. Obstetrics and gynecology patients are also asked to refrain from bringing siblings to appointments.
Call CGH at 815-625-0400 or KSB at 815-288-5511 for more information.