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Whooping Cough

(National Library of Medicine)  

Whooping cough is an infectious bacterial disease that causes uncontrollable coughing. The name comes from the noise you make when you take a breath after you cough. You may have choking spells or may cough so hard that you vomit.

Anyone can get whooping cough, but it is more common in infants and children. It's especially dangerous in infants. The coughing spells can be so bad that it is hard for infants to eat, drink or breathe.

Flu? Cold or Pertussis?
Whooping Cough/Pertussis Epidemic
Whooping cough flyer English.pdf
Pertussis pregnancy flyer 2010.pdf
Pertussis grandparent. pdf


Protect Your Family Against Whooping Cough

..Three children at different schools contracted pertussis, also known as whooping cough, and may have exposed others to the highly contagious respiratory disease, according to County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) officials.

Students and staff were notified of the potential exposure to whooping cough so they could watch for symptoms. A typical case of pertussis starts with a cough and runny nose for one to two weeks, followed by weeks to months of rapid coughing fits that sometimes end with a whooping sound. Fever, if present, is usually mild. The disease is treatable with antibiotics.

“The reason this disease continues to be of concern is that infants under one year old are especially vulnerable and can develop life-threatening complications. Tragically, two infants in San Diego County died during the 2010 epidemic,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County Public Health Officer. “Often people who have pertussis never realize they have it and may unknowingly expose babies. Vaccinations continue to offer the best protection against this illness.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children get the DTaP vaccine series at the following ages: 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 15 to 18 months, and 4 to 6 years. The Tdap booster shot is recommended for preteens and adults, including pregnant women. The ultimate goal is to prevent death that can result as a complication of pertussis. Infants under one year old are especially vulnerable and can develop life-threatening complications.
Parents with children who had close exposure to someone with whooping cough should contact their primary care physician. The vaccine series and the Tdap booster shot are available through most healthcare providers. Local retail pharmacies also offer vaccinations for a fee, and anyone without medical insurance can get the shots from a County Public Health Center at no cost.

For more information about whooping cough and ongoing vaccination clinics, call the HHSA Immunization Branch at (866) 358-2966, or visit


WIC San Ysidro Health Center

Dept. of Health and Human Services

It’s not too late to vaccinate! Pertussis (Whooping Cough): What You Need To Know Everyone needs to ...


Pregnant Women Need a Flu Shot! 

... baby after birth. Protect Yourself & Your Baby from Whooping Cough Pertussis (whooping cough) is very contagious and can cause serious illness? ... have not been previously vaccinated with Tdap (the whooping cough booster shot), talk with your doctor about getting ...


Other websites

• March of Dimes

• American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists


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