Cases of whooping cough, also known as pertussis, are rising in Iowa. Pertussis germs spread through the air when someone with it coughs. The illness can last for months and coughs can worsen and become uncontrollable.
So far this year, Iowa has recorded 92 cases of pertussis or whooping cough. That’s an 83% increase over Iowa’s five-year average. There was an outbreak this month in Polk County and a number of cases have been reported in Scott and Linn counties. The Scott County Health Department says most, but not all, cases there have been among children.
Dr. Louis Katz, the Scott County Health Department medical director, encourages parents to protect their children by making sure they are vaccinated. Iowa does not require pertussis vaccinations, but most states do.
By Phil Roberts, Davenport