Whooping cough cases rising in Iowa - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Whooping cough cases rising in Iowa

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DES MOINES (AP) -- Whooping cough is on the rise in Iowa, but it's not as bad as four years ago.

State epidemiologist Dr. Patricia Quinlisk says 50 cases have been confirmed in Iowa in the past few weeks. She says the number is "up a bit," but it's not as serious as the winter of 2004-2005, when hundreds of cases were reported. That was the worst season in Iowa for whooping cough, or pertussis, in at least 50 years.

Whooping cough is a bacterial infection and tends to be the most dangerous in young children. Almost all children are vaccinated against the disease as infants and toddlers, but the protection is imperfect.

Officials recommend a booster shot at age 11 or 12, plus another one when adults are vaccinated against tetanus.

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