State health officials are reporting pertussis activity, more commonly known as whooping cough, may be picking up in Iowa. The Center for Acute Disease Epidemiology (CADE), a bureau of the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), says several cases in school-age children have been reported over the last two weeks. Pertussis is a highly contagious bacterial infection of the respiratory tract and is characterized by violent coughing fits. The IDPH recommends patients suspected or confirmed to have pertussis should stay at home until they have completed five full days of antibiotic treatment or their cough has lasted at least 21 days. Whooping cough is preventable through vaccination with the diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTaP) shots at two, four and six months old, followed by boosters at 15 to 18 months and four to six years old. Health officials also recommend a Tdap booster between 11 and 12 years of age. For more information about pertussis, follow the links included with this story on our website.