Last year, the cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, reported to the Iowa Department of Public Health increased by 344 percent over the three year average. In 2012, there were 1,736 cases reported. Lynn Fisher with Washington County Public Health says that the state is expecting another high case load this year. She states that pertussis often starts as a cold with a running nose, aches, and possibly a fever but a cough develops about a week into the illness.
Babies under two months old are not able to get a vaccine, but older children are eligible. Fisher recommends that those interested in getting the vaccine should speak with their primary care provider or Washington County Public Health.