Health officials in eastern Iowa’s Buchanan County are alerting the public to a confirmed case of whooping cough. Amy Marlow is the department manager of the Buchanan County Health Department. She says they can’t release exactly where the case was, just that there is a case confirmed by the state hygienic lab. Marlow says they’re treating family members and anyone who had close contact with the victim. She says they’re notifying the public as a precaution. She says they always hope they can stop the spread of the disease before an outbreak. Marlow says the disease has some distinctive and some common symptoms. She says pertussis or whooping cough, has a lot of cold-like symptoms such as runny nose and irritating cough. Within one or two weeks, the cough develops into more coughing fits, with violent coughs, gasping for air, and kids will whoop. She says the cough fits occur more at night and can be followed by vomiting. Marlow says the disease can be severe in kids and the elderly. She says it can be fatal in the very young and the elderly because it’s a disease that doctors often are sure what it is for a period of time and the people become very sick. Marlow says whooping cough is spread through contact with saliva, so good hygiene is important to prevent its spread.