Diseases Home > Whooping Cough Disease

Whooping cough (also called pertussis) is a highly contagious infection of the respiratory system. This bacterial infection is transmitted through direct contact with an infected person's respiratory secretions and can be passed either through the air or by touching a contaminated surface.
Early symptoms of whooping cough are often similar to those seen with the flu. However, the symptoms eventually progress to severe coughing spells characterized by a "whooping" sound when the infected person inhales. Complications can include:
In most cases, treatment for the infection involves antibiotics and supportive care.
(For more information on this disease, including details on how you may be able to prevent it, click Whooping Cough.)
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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