Over one dozen people have tested positive for whooping cough in Clarke County. Iowa Department of Public Health medical director, Patricia Quinlisk, says large outbreaks of whooping cough or pertussis, have not been uncommon in past years — and this appears to be another.
Quinlisk say this is an outbreak or "cluster" of cases and the best way to deal with the cases is to be sure that everybody takes antibiotics to treat the cases, and that everyone gets vaccinated to prevent more cases.
Dr. Quinlisk says you can’t depend on the vaccine you got as a kid to protect you. She says most of the vaccinations people got as a child has waned by the time that person gets to be 15 to 20 years old. Quinlisk says if those adults get sick the impact is not as severe as it is in kids, but she says sick adults pass the disease on to their kids.
Quinlisk says staying on top of whooping cough is the best way to keep it from spreading. Quinlisk says if they can get everyone vaccinated and treat those who have the disease with antibiotics, then that can stop the spread of the disease in Iowa. Quinlisk says less than five percent of adults in Iowa have the new pertussis vaccine that can help prevent the spread of the disease.