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The Chicago Department of Public Health is promoting free vaccines to prevent a whooping cough outbreak

Chicago immunization clinics fight rising whooping cough risk

by Megan Carlson
April 30, 2013

vaccine clinic 2

The Chicago Department of Public Health is offering free immunizations across the city to combat the spread of pertussis, or whooping cough.

Pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, is a respiratory illness characterized by uncontrollable, violent coughing and can be life threatening for infants and young children.


“Last year, in Illinois and in Chicago, we had the largest number of pertussis cases that we'd had since the early 1990s,” said Marcia Levin of the Chicago Department of Public Health.

Illinois reported 1,859 reported cases of pertussis in 2012, reporting the sixth highest number of cases in the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nationally, 41,880 cases were reported, with the most cases (5,994) in Wisconsin.

The city also provides free HPV (human papillomavirus) and meningococcal vaccines for adolescents and adults at the clinic.  

If you didn't make it to the round of immunizations at clinics this weekend, the Chicago Department of Public Health continues to run walk-in immunization clinics around the city, according to Levin.  Residents can call 311 to find the nearest location.