Spreading Whooping Cough

Some people may wonder, "How is whooping cough spread?" Spreading whooping cough occurs in one of two ways. Whooping cough transmission is thought to occur most often when respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes are propelled through the air and come into contact with the mouth, nose, or eyes of other people. The other way of spreading whooping cough, although less common, occurs when a person touches a surface or object contaminated with infectious droplets and then touches his or her own mouth, nose, or eyes.

How Is Whooping Cough Spread?

The whooping cough bacteria (Bordetella pertussis) are spread through direct contact with an infected person's respiratory secretions. Whooping cough can be passed either through the air or by touching a contaminated surface.
 

Spreading Whooping Cough Through the Air

Whooping cough transmission is thought to occur most often by respiratory droplets (droplet spread) produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Droplet spread can occur when droplets from the cough or sneeze of an infected person are propelled a short distance (generally up to three feet) through the air and deposited on the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose, or eyes of people who are nearby.
 

Spreading Whooping Cough Via Contaminated Surfaces

Although it is less common, whooping cough can also be spread when a person touches a surface or object contaminated with infectious droplets and then touches his or her own mouth, nose, or eyes.
 
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Whooping Cough (Pertussis)

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