Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?
Growing up in the big, bad northwest suburbs, Chicagoist had a bit of a rivalry with the North Shore high schoolers at New Trier. Not only did they have oodles of money and one of the most gorgeous public school campuses we've ever seen, they were just so damn smart. At least their Scholastic Bowl entrants were. Not that we were in Scholastic Bowl or anything like that. What kind of trivia nerds do you take us for? ... Don't answer that.
Well, we're having a small laugh at good ol' New Trier's expense today, for they're in the middle of a whooping cough outbreak. So far 13 teenagers at the school's Winnetka campus have contracted the disease, which is highly contagious. We tend to get whooping cough mixed up with the croup, a nasty, phlegmy cough emitted by infants. (We first read about croup in Stephen King's "The Stand." How's that for nerdy trivia?) On the contrary: whooping cough's official name is pertussis, the symptoms of which include ... well, a dry cough that has a distinctive "whooping" sound. There's no fever involved, which is why so many people wait until the cough starts up to seek treatment, thinking it's just a cold.
Not to worry, hypochondriacs: Whooping cough has little severe implications for anyone over toddler age who's been vaccinated, although one should note that such vaccinations tend to wear off after 3-5 years. That's why New Trier's freshmen have gone unharmed ... they got their immunizations upped before starting school this year. We just think it's a riot that all these teenagers have whooping cough, of all things. We thought that had almost gone the way of rubella and TB. We also imagine making out has become something of a minefield. Poor rich brainy bastids. Not that we're bitter.
Image via the Nebraska HSS System.