Whooping Cough (Pertussis)

Whooping Cough (Pertussis)

Whooping cough (pertussis) is currently an epidemic in Washington. This means we’re seeing many more people sick with this disease than usual. Whooping cough can cause hospitalization and even death for young babies. Older kids, teens, and adults often spread the disease to babies. This is a serious situation.

Whooping cough spreads very easily by coughing and sneezing. It begins with cold-like symptoms and develops into a bad cough. Coughing spells can be severe, sometimes ending in gagging or vomiting. Some kids also may have a high-pitched “whoop” after they cough, which is how the disease got its common name (although infants may not cough at all, and some teens and adults don’t have a “whoop” after they cough).

Adults and children may catch whooping cough and spread it to others, even if they were already vaccinated because the vaccine wears off over time.

Click for Information for Parents About Whooping Cough (pertussis)