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'Whooping Cough' Cases On The Rise In Eastern Iowa

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TIFFIN, Iowa -- Cases of pertussis, more commonly known as 'whooping cough,' are on the rise in Eastern Iowa, according to the Johnson County Public Health department. Officials in Johnson County have reported nine cases of the bacterial disease so far this year.

"In Iowa there has been an 83 percent increase this year over the five year trend for the Pertussis," said Annette Scheib, Johnson County Community Health Manager.

On average 10-27 cases of whooping cough are reported in Johnson County each year. Linn, Benton, Scott and Polk have reported the biggest spikes of the illness in 2012.

Whooping cough is a highly contagious disease that causes excessive coughing, which can lead to vomiting. If untreated the illness can lead to death, especially for infants.

Clear Creek Amana schools recently warned parents about the uptick in cases in a weekly newsletter to elementary school parents.

"There are confirmed cases of pertussis (whooping cough) at Clear Creek Amana middle school and high school," the newsletter states. "Please watch your family members for the symptoms."

Scheib recommends adults seek a $30 vaccination for the disease, especially families who are raising infants.

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