Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

Child touching baby's head

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 cough fits, 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 by getting vaccinated. English | en Español

Pregnant? Help Protect Your Baby from Whooping Cough

Learn why Laura decided to get the whooping cough vaccine in her 3rd trimester of pregnancy and how her baby girl was born with some protection against the disease.

Also available on YouTube.

Pregnancy and Whooping Cough

Learn more about whooping cough vaccination during pregnancy…

Genetic Changes to Pertussis Strains

Most strains of the bacteria that now cause pertussis are missing something called pertactin. The good news is that pertussis vaccines continue to be effective against disease caused by bacterial strains that are and are not missing pertactin. Learn more about pertactin-deficient pertussis strains.

Would You Know Pertussis?

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