Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is a serious respiratory infection that is caused by a bacteria called bordetella pertussis. It spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes, and the droplets containing the bacteria are then spread to other people. Whooping cough is a very serious infection in children and can cause severe coughing. The coughing can last for months and be very intense, often ending with a 'whoop' sound. Prevention of whooping cough includes vaccination with the type of vaccine depending on age group.


Whooping cough is caused by the pertussis bacteria and spread through close contact. Children younger than six months old are more likely to have severe complications from whooping cough, as they have not yet received the vaccine and their immunity hasn't yet developed. Symptoms in infants include intense coughing spells which sound like a "whoop" when they inhale. Older children may also experience these spells of intense coughing, but adults usually only have milder symptoms or no symptoms at all due to their immunity. Complications can arise if infection is not treated quickly and properly, which can be life threatening for infants who are vulnerable to developing severe breathing problems from whooping cough.


It is recommended that children be vaccinated against whooping cough, with the first dose at age 12 months and a booster at age 6 months. Babies and infants are at the highest risk of developing complications of whooping cough, because their immune systems are still developing. The pertussis vaccine has been shown to reduce cases of severe complications in infected children. Vaccination is especially important for babies and infants as they are most vulnerable to developing severe illnesses from whooping cough infections. Regular vaccination for all children is an effective way to help prevent this serious infection from occurring in the first place.


Whooping cough, or pertussis, is an airborne infection caused by the bacteria Bordetella pertussis and it spreads quickly through coughing. Anyone who lives in the same household as an infected person is at a significantly increased risk of developing whooping cough themselves. It is especially dangerous for children during their first three weeks of life, as they are too young to have received the pertussis vaccine yet. The best preventative measure for parents to take is to ensure that all members of the household get vaccinated and keep up with their booster shots. If a child does contract whooping cough within those first three weeks, antibiotics can be administered to help reduce symptoms and stop further spreading of infection.


Whooping cough is a highly contagious disease caused by the bacteria Bordetella pertussis. Vaccines are given to prevent whooping cough, although it is not 100% effective; approximately 10-20% of infants may still get the infection despite being vaccinated. Around 1 in 8,000 children will require hospitalization due to complications from whooping cough and in some rare cases, it can even end in death. The best chance of preventing infection is for everyone living or working in the same area as an infant to be vaccinated against pertussis; this includes family members and people working with infants such as teachers or healthcare workers.