BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuPertussisWhooping coughPertussis is a highly contagious bacterial disease that causes uncontrollable, violent coughing. The coughing can make it hard to breathe. A deep "whooping" sound is often heard when the person tries to take a breath. Causes Pertussis, or whooping cough, is an upper respiratory infection. It is caused by the Bordetella pertussis bacteria. It is a serious disease that can affect people of any age and cause permanent disability in infants, and even death.When an infected person sneezes or coughs, tiny droplets containing the bacteria move through the air. The disease is easily spread from person to person.The symptoms of infection often lasts 6 weeks, but it can last as long as 10 weeks. Symptoms Initial symptoms are similar to the common cold. In most cases, they develop about a week after exposure to the bacteria.Common coldThe common cold most often causes a runny nose, nasal congestion, and sneezing. You may also have a sore throat, cough, headache, or other symptoms....ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Severe episodes of coughing start about 10 to 12 days later. In infants and young children, the coughing sometimes ends with a "whoop" noise. The sound is produced when the person tries to take a breath. The whoop noise is rare in infants under 6 months of age and in older children or adults.Coughing spells may lead to vomiting or a short loss of consciousness. Pertussis should always be considered when vomiting occurs with coughing. In infants, choking spells and long pauses in breathing are common.Choking Choking is when someone is having a very hard time breathing because food, a toy, or other object is blocking the throat or windpipe (airway). A cho...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Other pertussis symptoms include:Runny nose Runny noseA stuffy or congested nose occurs when the tissues lining the nose become swollen. The swelling is due to inflamed blood vessels. The problem may a...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Slight fever, 102°F (38.9°C) or lower FeverFever is the temporary increase in the body's temperature in response to a disease or illness. A child has a fever when the temperature is at or abov...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article DiarrheaDiarrheaDiarrhea is when you pass loose or watery stool.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Exams and Tests The initial diagnosis is most often based on the symptoms. However, when the symptoms are not obvious, pertussis may be hard to diagnose. In very young infants, the symptoms may be caused by pneumonia instead.To know for sure, the health care provider may take a sample of mucus from the nasal secretions. The sample is sent to a lab and tested for pertussis. While this can offer an accurate diagnosis, the test takes some time. Most of the time, treatment is started before the results are ready.Some people may have a complete blood count that shows large numbers of lymphocytes.Complete blood countA complete blood count (CBC) test measures the following:The number of red blood cells (RBC count)The number of white blood cells (WBC count)The tota...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Treatment If started early enough, antibiotics such as erythromycin can make the symptoms go away more quickly. Unfortunately, most people are diagnosed too late, when antibiotics aren't very effective. However, the medicines can help reduce the person's ability to spread the disease to others.Infants younger than 18 months need constant supervision because their breathing may temporarily stop during coughing spells. Infants with severe cases should be hospitalized.An oxygen tent with high humidity may be used.Fluids may be given through a vein if coughing spells are severe enough to prevent the person from drinking enough fluids.Sedatives (medicines to make you sleepy) may be prescribed for young children.Cough mixtures, expectorants, and suppressants are most often not helpful. These medicines should NOT be used. Outlook (Prognosis) In older children, the outlook is most often very good. Infants have the highest risk for death, and need careful monitoring. Possible Complications Complications may include:Pneumonia PneumoniaPneumonia is a breathing (respiratory) condition in which there is an infection of the lung. This article covers community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). ...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Convulsions ConvulsionsA seizure is the physical changes in behavior that occurs during an episode of abnormal electrical activity in the brain. The term "seizure" is often...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Seizure disorder (permanent) Nosebleeds Ear infections Ear infectionsOtitis is a term for infection or inflammation of the ear.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Brain damage from lack of oxygen Bleeding in the brain (cerebral hemorrhage) Intellectual disability Intellectual disabilityIntellectual disability is a condition diagnosed before age 18 that includes below-average intellectual function and a lack of skills necessary for d...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Slowed or stopped breathing (apnea) ApneaBreathing that stops from any cause is called apnea. Slowed breathing is called bradypnea. Labored or difficult breathing is known as dyspnea....Read Article Now Book Mark Article Death When to Contact a Medical Professional Contact your provider if you or your child develops symptoms of pertussis. Call 911 or the local emergency number or get to an emergency room if the person has any of the following symptoms:Bluish skin color, which indicates a lack of oxygen Bluish skinA bluish color to the skin or mucous membrane is usually due to a lack of oxygen in the blood. The medical term is cyanosis.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Periods of stopped breathing (apnea) Seizures or convulsions Seizures or convulsionsA seizure is the physical changes in behavior that occurs during an episode of abnormal electrical activity in the brain. The term "seizure" is often...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article High fever FeverFever is the temporary increase in the body's temperature in response to a disease or illness. A child has a fever when the temperature is at or abov...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Persistent vomiting VomitingNausea is feeling an urge to vomit. It is often called "being sick to your stomach. "Vomiting or throwing-up is forcing the contents of the stomach ...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article DehydrationDehydrationDehydration occurs when your body does not have as much water and fluids as it needs. Dehydration can be mild, moderate, or severe, based on how much...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Prevention DTaP vaccination, one of the recommended childhood immunizations, protects children against pertussis infection. DTaP vaccine can be safely given to infants. Five DTaP vaccines are recommended. They are most often given to children at ages 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 15 to 18 months, and 4 to 6 years.DTaP vaccinationAll content below is taken in its entirety from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) DTaP vaccine information statement (VIS) -- www....ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article The TdaP vaccine should be given at age 11 or 12.TdaP vaccineAll content below is taken in its entirety from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Tdap Vaccine Information Statement (VIS): www. cdc. gov/vaccine...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article During a pertussis outbreak, unimmunized children under age 7 should not attend school or public gatherings. They should also be isolated from anyone known or suspected to be infected. This should last until 14 days after the last reported case.It is also recommended that adults age 19 and older receive 1 dose of the TdaP vaccine against pertussis.TdaP is especially important for health care professionals and anyone having close contact with a baby younger than 12 months old.Pregnant women should get a dose of TdaP during every pregnancy between 27 and 36 weeks of pregnancy, to protect the newborn from pertussis.Open ReferencesReferencesCenters for Disease Control and Prevention website. Vaccine information statements (VISs): Td (tetanus, diphtheria) VIS. www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/td.html. Updated August 6, 2021. Accessed September 24, 2021.Freedman MS, Ault K, Bernstein H. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended immunization schedule for adults aged 19 years or older - United States, 2021. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021;70(6):193-196. PMID: 33571173 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33571173.Souder E, Long SS. Pertussis (Bordetella pertussis and Bordetella parapertussis). In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 224.Wodi AP, Ault K, Hunter P, McNally V, Szilagyi PG, Bernstein H. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended immunization schedule for children and adolescents aged 18 years or younger - United States, 2021. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021;70(6):189-192. PMID: 33571172 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33571172/.AllVideoImagesTogRespiratory system overview - illustration Air is breathed in through the nasal passageways, travels through the trachea and bronchi to the lungs.Respiratory system overviewillustrationRespiratory system overview - illustration Air is breathed in through the nasal passageways, travels through the trachea and bronchi to the lungs.Respiratory system overviewillustrationRelated Information Common cold(Condition)Community-acquired pneumonia in adults(Condition)Seizures(Symptoms)Otitis(Condition)Breathing - slowed or stopped(Symptoms)Colds and the flu(In-Depth)Pneumonia(In-Depth) Review Date: 8/10/2021 Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- © 1997- All rights reserved. A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.Content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.