Whooping cough (also called pertussis), is a serious infection that spreads easily from person to person. The infection causes coughing spells that are so severe that it can be hard to breathe, eat, or sleep. Whooping cough can even lead to cracked ribs, pneumonia or hospitalization.
In the past, whooping cough was kept at bay by infant and childhood immunization. It is now known that protection from childhood whooping cough vaccination wears off by the teen years. Adolescents and adults are at risk for the infection.
Experts estimate that up to one million cases of whooping cough occur each year in the United States, across all age groups.
Health officials now recommend that adults and adolescents receive a Tdap* booster vaccine to protect against whooping cough. It is especially important for those in contact with infants younger than 12 months of age.
This is instead of the previously recommended Td (tetanus-diphtheria) booster
Whooping cough can be:
This serious infectious disease is on the rise in the United States, across all age groups.
Protection against whooping cough from early childhood vaccines wears off. Adolescents and adults are at risk for infection.
Whooping cough causes coughing spells that can affect breathing, eating and sleeping. The infection can even lead to cracked ribs and hospitalization.
Adults and adolescents can spread whooping cough to young infants who have not had all their vaccines. Babies are at greatest risk for serious complications, even death.
Two booster vaccines for whooping cough are now available. One can be used for adults and adolescents. The other has been approved for adolescents only.
Immunization Action Coalition
CDC resources (including clinical resources, patient education tools, and outbreak information)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Indiana Immunization Coalition, Inc.
Pertussis information in Spanish for parents from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Academy of Family Physicians, and the American Academy of Pediatrics
In-depth information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Academy of Family Physicians, and the American Academy of Pediatrics
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Academy of Family Physicians, and the American Academy of Pediatrics
National Foundation for Infectious Diseases
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