Health Advice

/

Health

Whooping cough (pertussis) is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection

From Mayo Clinic News Network, Mayo Clinic News Network on

Published in Health & Fitness

Turn red or blue

Seem to be struggling to breathe or have noticeable pauses in breathing

Inhale with a whooping sound

Causes

Whooping cough is caused by a type of bacteria called Bordetella pertussis. When an infected person coughs or sneezes, tiny germ-laden droplets are sprayed into the air and breathed into the lungs of anyone who happens to be nearby.

Risk factors

 

The whooping cough vaccine you receive as a child eventually wears off. This leaves most teenagers and adults susceptible to the infection during an outbreak - and there continue to be regular outbreaks.

Infants who are younger than age 12 months who are unvaccinated or haven't received the full set of recommended vaccines have the highest risk for severe complications and death.

Complications

Teens and adults often recover from whooping cough with no problems. When complications occur, they tend to be side effects of the strenuous coughing, such as:

...continued

swipe to next page
(c)2020 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.