easily spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Pertussis can cause spells of violent coughing and choking in
young children, making it hard to drink, eat, or even breathe.
Children often make a "whooping" noise when they
breathe in after a hard coughing attack, which is why this
disease is often called whooping cough. The cough can last for
What does Pertussis sound like?
This disease is most serious for babies under a year old.
Pertussis may cause serious health problems: about 1 child in
10 with pertussis also gets pneumonia; about 20 in every 1,000
will have convulsions; and in 4 of every 1,000 the brain will be
affected. There are pertussis outbreaks every year because
children are not immunized. Pertussis kills about 300,000
children per year in countries where children don't get
thought of as a childhood disease, but we now know that adults
can get pertussis as well. Adults who get pertussis have a cough, but
don't "whoop". Unfortunately, many adults with
pertussis are not treated by their doctor and pass this disease
on to others, possibly young children.
vaccine is given to young children in the DTaP (diphtheria,
tetanus, and acellular Pertussis) vaccine series and to adolescents and adults in the DTaP (diphtheria,
tetanus, and acellular Pertussis) vaccine.