Pertussis (Whooping Cough) is a very contagious disease caused by a type of bacteria called Bordetella pertussis. Pertusis is highly contagious and can effect children and adults. People infected with the disease cough violently and rapidly, over and over, until the air is gone from their lungs and they're forced to inhale with a loud "whooping" sound.
Pertusis is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection. Although it initally resembles an ordinary cold, Pertussis may eventually turn more serious, particularly in infants. It is most contagious before the cough starts. The best way to prevent Pertussis is through vaccinations. The childhood vaccine is called DTaP. The booster vaccine for adolescents and adults is called TDap. Both protect against Pertussis, Tetanus, and Diphtheria.
The disease starts like the common cold and turns into a persistent cough. The cough can last for weeks and lead to more complications like pneumonia and seizures. Infants and young children with the disease may require hospitalization.
Signs & Symptoms:
Prevention: It is easily prevented by the Pertusis vaccine.
The vaccination is a series of 5 shots from 2 months of age - 6 years. To ensure the maximum benefit from the vaccine your child needs at least 3 doses on time.