The Iowa Department of Public Health says there were over 60,000 reports of infectious disease in 2010. Department medical director, Patricia Quinlisk, sums up the yearly report. She says the numbers were “pretty high” and there are still a lot of people in Iowa getting sick from the infectious diseases and there is still a lot of work to do to prevent these diseases.
One area that saw a jump was the number of mumps and whooping cough cases. Compared to the three-year average, mumps had a 73% increase and whooping cough cases increased by 229%.
Quinlisk says those figures remind us that we need to keep our vaccinations up to date. She says we have had children die from whooping cough and people need to be sure that children and the people around them are vaccinated. The number of “diarrheal diseases” increased too, and Dr. Quinlisk says those come from a couple of sources.
She says one source is from food that is contaminated or undercooked, and this time of year it is caused by recreational water, or water we swim in. Quinlisk we often think of lakes as being a source of the problem, but she says water in kiddie pools is a concern. She says those kiddie pools don’t have the filters and treatments for the water that you see in larger pools.
There was an increase in the cases of the sexually transmitted disease chlymidia, but Quinlisk says it’s not easy to tell why they are going up. Quinlisk says a lot of the sexually transmitted disease reports are very dependent on how much screening is being done and how many people are being tested. Quinlisk doesn’t see a major cause for concern.
She says while the numbers are going up, she doesn’t see anything that is much different from what is going on in the rest of the United States. You can see the entire report on the Department of Public Health’s website at: www.idph.state.ia.us.