What is whooping cough? Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is a serious infection that spreads easily from person to person. The disease causes uncontrollable, violent coughing spells that makes it hard to breathe, eat, or sleep. After severe coughing fits, an individual with whooping cough often needs to take deep breaths which may result in a "whooping' sound. It can be very serious, even deadly, for babies less than one year old.
Pertussis, often called whooping cough, is caused by a bacterial infection. While infants have the greatest chance of getting whooping cough, the illness can be contracted at any age. In general, whooping cough starts off like a common cold. Symptoms can include runny nose, low-grade fever, tiredness, and a mild or occasional cough. Over time, coughing spells become more severe.
Whooping cough (pertussis) - including symptoms, treatment and prevention
Now about half of all the cases that occur in this country are among teens and adults. And treatment consists of a course of antibiotics. Teens and adults need to get the vaccine, too. Here is what the CDC has to say on the subject:. Vaccine protection for pertussis, tetanus, and diphtheria can fade with time.