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Whooping Cough (pertussis)
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Whooping Cough (pertussis)

Vaccine-Preventable Diseases
Whooping cough is a serious disease caused by bacteria. It is called whooping cough because of the "whoop" heard when a person who has it gasps for breath. Whooping cough is also known as pertussis.
Whooping cough is spread through the air by coughing and sneezing. It is very contagious.
Whooping cough can trigger coughing so severe that it results in vomiting and broken ribs. The cough can last for weeks or months. More than half of babies younger than one year old who get whooping cough are hospitalized. Babies are the most likely to die from whooping cough or have complications such as seizures and brain damage.
Whooping cough is most dangerous for babies, but anyone can become seriously ill from it.
You can protect yourself (and others) by getting vaccinated.
Whooping Cough Vaccine Schedule
All babies, children, and teens should get vaccinated against whooping cough as part of their regular checkups. Pregnant women need a dose in every pregnancy. Adults should also get vaccinated against whooping cough to protect themselves, their families and friends, and babies they may be in contact with. Babies and children need to be vaccinated with DTaP vaccine, and older children, teens, and adults should receive Tdap vaccine. These vaccines protect against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (whooping cough).
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Trusted Websites
Whooping Cough (pertussis)
Whooping Cough (pertussis)
What you should know about the the disease from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Information about Whooping Cough (pertussis)
Information about Whooping Cough (pertussis)
Includes information about the disease, immunization, and resources for parents from the American Academy of Pediatrics
Sounds of Pertussis
Sounds of Pertussis
Sounds of Pertussis website features personal stories, whooping cough symptoms, and vaccine information from the March of Dimes
A Look at Each Vaccine: Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccines
A Look at Each Vaccine: Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis
Questions and answers about the disease and vaccines from the Vaccine Education Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
View all diseases and vaccines
Video Library
Video: Pertussis - In Memory of Francesca
Pertussis - In Memory of Francesca: Get a shot. Save a life. Visit http://messa.org/pertussis. Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious bacterial disease. You can help build a circle of protection around all the babies in your life by getting a Tdap pertussis booster shot.
>> view all whooping cough videos
Personal Testimonies
Stories of suffering and loss from whooping cough
The Death of Colin, Pamela and Kevin Durkin's Infant Son
The Hospitalization of Colin, Mary-Clayton Enderlein's Newborn Son
Long-ago Bane of Whooping Cough Making a Stealthy Resurgence
Ramona's Story
>> view all personal testimonies
More Whooping Cough Information
Whooping Cough: Make sure your child is protected
Whooping Cough: Make sure your child is protected
Vaccine summary for parents
>> Spanish-language
Protect Yourself from Whooping Cough
Protect Yourself from Whooping Cough
Vaccine summary for teens and adults
>> Spanish-language
Protect Babies from Whooping Cough
Protect Babies from Whooping Cough
CDC infographic shows parents and parents-to-be the three ways to protect infants against pertussis
Whooping Cough: Questions and Answers
Whooping Cough Q&As
Whooping cough disease and vaccine information
Cocooning Protects Babies
Cocooning Protects Babies
Important information for families
Whooping Cough: Overview for Parents
Overview for Parents
Frequently asked questions
>> Spanish-language
Whooping Cough Fact Sheet
Whooping Cough Fact Sheet
More in-depth information, includes a real-life story
>> Spanish-language
The Pertussis Disease Villain
The Pertussis Disease Villain
Kid-friendly Fact Sheet
>> Spanish-language
Whooping Cough: What You Should Know
What You Should Know
Whooping cough Q&A fact sheet
>> Spanish-language
Vaccines and Your Baby
Vaccines and Your Baby
Brochure for parents about childhood immunizations, explains how vaccines work, answers common questions about vaccines, and lists additional resources
Whooping Cough Photos
Some of the images are quite graphic
>> view all whooping cough photos
 
This page was reviewed on March 3, 2014
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The Immunization Action Coalition (IAC), a non-profit organization, works to increase immunization rates and prevent disease by creating and distributing educational materials for health professionals and the public that enhance the delivery of safe and effective immunization services. IAC also facilitates communication about the safety, efficacy, and use of vaccines within the broad immunization community of patients, parents, healthcare organizations, and government health agencies.