Western Iowa sees whooping cough numbers increase

An increase in the number of whooping cough cases has been reported in Western Iowa as part of the diseases comeback nationwide.

According to, officials in the Council Bluffs area are urging parents in the region to vaccinate their children. To date, there have been five reported cases of whooping cough in area elementary schools.

Tanya French, a nurse at the Council Bluffs Department of Health, told that officials are moving quickly and urging residents to take all appropriate caution.

“We are hoping that everybody gets treated who comes in contact with someone who is a confirmed case and also talking to their providers about getting the vaccination if they’re eligible,” French told, adding that the vaccine covers everyone from age 10 to age 64. “So we’re strongly encouraging anyone in that age bracket to get the vaccine.”

Iowa requires vaccinations for kindergarten-age children. A second required vaccination, however, cannot be taken until the child reaches 10 years of age.

Whooping cough, or pertussis, is a bacterial disease that can be passed between people. If affects roughly 50 million people worldwide yearly and kills nearly 300,000 every year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, whooping cough's formerly widespread occurrence in the United States has decreased more than 80 percent since the development of a vaccine in the 1940s.