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Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease. It is caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis.

Pertussis is known for uncontrollable, violent coughing which often makes it hard to breathe. After fits of many coughs, someone with pertussis often needs to take deep breaths which result in a "whooping" sound. Pertussis can affect people of all ages, but can be very serious, even deadly, for babies less than a year old.

The best way to protect against pertussis is immunization. English | en Español

Pregnancy and Whooping Cough

MultimediaLearn more about whooping cough vaccination during pregnancy...


New Pertussis Strain

In recent years, most pertussis strains in the United States are missing pertactin.


Would You Know Pertussis?

Boy coughing

Hear how the cough may sound
It is important to know that not everyone with pertussis coughs or "whoops".

Frequently Asked Questions


Have questions about pertussis? See these answers to pertussis frequently asked questions.

Coughing Up the Facts on Pertussis