While the first flu case in Iowa was confirmed Friday — another illness continues to be a problem across the state. State Epidemeologist Patricia Quinlisk says about half of Iowa’s 99 counties have had cases of whooping cough or pertussis.She says we’re seeing some counties starting to slow down, but she says other counties are seeing “major problems.” Quinlisk says anyone with a severe cough, or who has concerns about a potential case of whooping cough, should call their doctor. Quinlisk says identifying whooping cough is important. She says one of the differences between whooping cough and the flu is that you can treat whooping cough with antibiotics. She says getting the treatment not only helps you get over whooping cough, it also makes you less likely to infect other people. Quinlisk says things are in such a flux with the whooping cough outbreaks, that the Health Department doesn’t have exact numbers on how many people are involved. She says one of the things that’s happening is that there are so many cases, that local health workers are so busy getting the antibiotics for treatment to people, that they’re behind in reporting to the state. She says a rough estimate of the number of whooping cough cases is around 300.
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