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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 most commonly affects infants and young children and can be fatal, especially in babies less than 1 year of age.

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

First appearance in the United States of pertussis strains that 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