Pertussis

Silence the Sounds of Pertussis

The Sounds of Pertussis

Click the play button above to hear how whooping cough sounds.

Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a potentially deadly bacterial infection that can strike at any age, but is particularly dangerous for babies. The sounds of pertussis are like no other, marked by a “whoop” made when gasping for breath after a severe coughing attack.

Why the Sounds of Pertussis Must be Silenced

Pertussis can be a serious illness, particularly for babies and young children. More than 50% of babies with reported cases of pertussis must be hospitalized. Coughing can be so severe that it is hard for babies to eat, drink or breathe.

  • Babies may bleed behind the eyes and in the brain from coughing.
  • The most common complication is bacterial pneumonia. About 1 child in 10 with pertussis also gets pneumonia, and about 1 in every 50 will have convulsions.
  • Brain damage occurs in 1 out of every 250 children who get pertussis.
  • Pertussis causes about 10-20 deaths each year in the United States.

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Important disclaimer: The information on pkids.org is for educational purposes only and should not be considered to be medical advice. It is not meant to replace the advice of the physician who cares for your child. All medical advice and information should be considered to be incomplete without a physical exam, which is not possible without a visit to your doctor.


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