Whooping cough (also known as pertussis) is a bacterial infection that gets into your nose and throat. Whooping cough is caused by a bacterium called Bordetella pertussis. All older children and adults with the disease have a cough which more often than not persists for 2 weeks or more, is paroxysmal (with fits of coughing) and is worse at night. However, whooping cough vaccines can cause temporary side effects in some people, such as: Whooping cough, or pertussis, is a highly contagious bacterial infection that affects the respiratory tract. Antibiotics help to prevent the spread of infection after 5 days of treatment. Whooping cough is an infection caused by the bacterium, Bordetella pertussis, which affects your upper airways. MNT is the registered trade mark of Healthline Media. The American Lung Association advise against treating whooping cough with cough medications. There are two forms of vaccine that protect against whooping cough. For the average case of whooping cough in older children and adults there is no treatment likely to make a difference to the course of the illness or reduce the symptoms. Infants younger than age 6 months may not have a classic whooping cough, or it may be difficult to hear. Listen to audio of what whooping cough typically sounds like in a young child. Symptoms usually develop 5 to 10 days after exposure, but some people might not develop symptoms for several weeks. Description: A 64-year-old man was admitted to the medical service with a presumed asthma exacerbation. Early antibiotic treatment may reduce symptom severity, speed up recovery time, and prevent people from transmitting the bacteria. Whooping cough is uncommon in children in the UK, mainly due to immunisation. Whooping cough (pertussis) is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection. We take a look at these hair follicle infections, their risk factors, and home remedies. Effectiveness. Whooping cough treatment usually involves antibiotic therapy. In this article, we discuss the symptoms and complications of whooping cough in adults and the treatment options. A person can spread the disease from the very beginning of the sickness (when he has cold-like symptoms) and for at least 2 weeks after coughing starts. You can get whooping cough at any age, but young babies and children are more likely to … One dose of Tdap for adults who have never received the vaccine. These coughing episodes can continue for weeks or even months after the onset of the illness. Whooping cough spreads easily through the air when a person who has whooping cough breathes, coughs, or sneezes. When this changes, we will update this web site. Bacteria called Bordetella pertussis cause whooping cough. The coughing can make it hard to breathe. Doctors might sometimes misdiagnose whooping cough as a common cold or another respiratory infection because whooping cough in adults does not typically cause severe symptoms. Usually, after a week or two, severe coughing begins. A deep "whooping" sound is often heard when the patient tries to take a breath. Whooping cough can occasionally lead to the complication of pneumonia in older children and adults. Although a vaccine has been developed against whooping cough, which is routinely given to children in their first year of life, cases of the disease still occur, especially in infants younger than age 6 months. The classic “whooping” sound occurs when people inhale sharply to catch their breath after a coughing fit. Medically reviewed by Kathryn Meier, M.D., MPH , pediatrician Check if you or your child has whooping cough … Adolescents and adults can get a booster vaccine called Tdap. However, each person may experience symptoms differently. Whooping cough Whooping cough, also called pertussis, is a serious respiratory infection caused by a type of bacteria called Bordetella pertussis. In fact, by some estimates, 10 to 30 percent of prolonged coughs (lasting two or three weeks) in adults may be caused by pertussis. An adult's immunity to whooping cough lessens over time, so getting vaccinated and protecting yourself against the infection also helps protect your infant or child from getting it. These tests might include a nasopharyngeal swab, which involves a doctor collecting a sample of mucus through the nose to analyze for B. pertussis bacteria. This live article covers developments regarding SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19. Antibiotics are also given to pregnant women within 6 weeks of the onset of cough. Stage 1: People are highly contagious in the early stages of the disease. Mother holding infant girl in Intensive Care Unit. Acellular pertussis vaccine (aP) with three or more antigens prevents around 85% of typical whooping cough cases in children. One Tdap vaccine during the third trimester of every pregnancy. If an adult is experiencing a persistent cough, the doctor may recommend further medical tests to diagnose the problem. Diagnosing whooping cough in its early stages can be difficult because the signs and symptoms resemble those of other common respiratory illnesses, such as a cold, the flu or bronchitis. The fourth shot is given between ages 15 and 18 months; the fifth shot is given when a child enters school at ages 4 to 6 years. Whooping cough doesn’t manifest the same way in adults as it does in babies and children. We will update it regularly as the pandemic continues. At first, whooping cough causes mild cold-like symptoms that last for 1 to 2 weeks, such as: Stage 2: After some time, people can develop a severe, persistent cough that leaves them gasping for air. Hernias can also result. However, some adults and older children get whooping cough because the effect of whooping cough immunisation can wane over time in some people. Attempts to get benefit from bronchodilators, cough suppressants or antibiotics are generally futile. Violent coughing fits can cause fainting or fractured ribs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), antibacterial treatments are most effective during the first 2–3 weeks of infection or before coughing fits begin. Adults can develop secondary complications from whooping cough. Whooping cough caused thousands of deaths in the 1930s and 1940s. In general, whooping cough starts off like a common cold. The coughing may last for 10 or more weeks, hence the phrase "100-day cough". Whooping cough, or pertussis, is a highly contagious condition. We are experiencing extremely high call volume related to COVID-19 vaccine interest. What are the differences between COVID-19, the common cold, and influenza? Whooping cough (pertussis) is a contagious illness caused by bacteria. Many babies infected with pertussis have caught it from an adult. However, if pertussis is circulating in the community, there is a possibility that even a fully vaccinated person could catch the disease. Whooping cough is caused by a bacteria called Bordetella pertussis and is also known as pertussis. Sometimes pertussis symptoms do not develop for as long as 3 weeks. Adults who have not received the whooping cough booster vaccine Tdap (tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis) have a higher risk of contracting whooping cough. The first 3 shots are given at ages 2, 4, and 6 months. Always consult your health care provider for a diagnosis. Medical tests may be needed to confirm the diagnosis. They differ in the kind of damage they do to the airways and lungs. difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, called, difficulty breathing while sleeping, called sleep apnea, eating frequent small meals rather than three large meals to avoid vomiting, avoiding coughing triggers, such as smoke, strong chemicals, and allergens, being in close contact with someone who has whooping cough. Renee K. Rutledge, M.D., and Erica C. Keen, M.D., Ph.D. A 64-year-old man was admitted to the medical service with a presumed asthma exacerbation. The following are the most common symptoms of whooping cough. The early symptoms of whooping cough in both adults and children can look a lot like a cold or bronchitis: sneezing, runny nose, some coughing. Infants and young children tend to develop the telltale “whoop,” a sudden, sharp inhalation of breath after a violent bout of coughing. Since the 1980s, a dramatic increase in the number of cases of pertussis has occurred, especially in children and teenagers, ages 10 to 19, and in babies younger than age 6 months. adults of any age who need a tetanus, diphtheria or polio dose (you can get a combination vaccine that includes whooping cough to increase protection) people aged 50 years, at the same time as they get their recommended tetanus and diphtheria vaccine Adults tend to experience less severe symptoms of whooping cough compared with children. Pregnant women should have the booster late in the second trimester, or in the third trimester of each pregnancy. Whooping Cough in an Adult List of authors. Whooping cough is an infectious bacterial disease that causes uncontrollable coughing. Sometimes, doctors can diagnose whooping cough simply by asking about symptoms and listening to the cough. In addition to a complete medical history and physical exam, diagnosis of whooping cough is often confirmed with a culture taken from the nose. COVID-19 shares some similarities with other respiratory conditions, such as the common cold and influenza, although there are also crucial…, Loss of appetite can have many causes, including short-term infections, psychological or mental health conditions, cancers, and certain medications…. Read more COVID-19 Vaccine Information, Patient Care Options | Visitor Guidelines | Coronavirus Information | Self-Checker | Get Email Alerts. The baby has pertussis (whooping cough) and is coughing severely. Recovering from whooping cough can take several weeks, and a cough can continue to linger for many months. Following a fit of coughing, a high-pitched whoop sound or gasp may occur as the person breathes in. The CDC recommend the following Tdap vaccination schedule for everyone: In general, these vaccines are safe for most people. A DTaP shot is a combination vaccine that protects against 3 diseases: diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. A person may cough so hard that they vomit, break ribs, or become ve… With the advent of a … Other potential complications of whooping cough in adults include: Treatment depends on the duration of the illness and the severity of its symptoms. In many people, it's marked by a severe hacking cough followed by a high-pitched intake of breath that sounds like "whoop." The DTaP vaccine protects infants and young children, but it wears off over time. Hospitalization may be required in severe cases. Although it often begins like a mild cold, it can progress to cause uncontrollable, severe, prolonged coughing spells that make it hard to breathe. You should consult your health care provider or call 911 if you observe pauses in breathing. Whooping cough gets its name from its most famous symptom -- a "whoop" sound you might make when you gasp for air at the end of a coughing fit. Symptoms of whooping cough may include: Coughing, violently and rapidly, until all the air has left the lungs and a person is forced to inhale, causing a "whooping" sound, Lips, tongue, and nailbeds may turn blue during coughing spells. Whooping cough can affect adults and it is often less severe than in children. Antibiotics are typically given within 3 weeks of the onset of cough in babies over age 1 year, and within 6 weeks of the onset of cough in infants younger than 1 year. Whooping cough (also called pertussis) is a bacterial infection of the lungs and breathing tubes. Pertussis, known commonly as “whooping cough,” is a very contagious respiratory illness that typically affects children more severely than adults. Whooping cough, also known as pertussis or the 100-day cough, is a highly contagious bacterial disease. All adults should get a Td booster every 10 years, but it can be given before the 10-year mark. Whooping cough caused thousands of deaths in the 1930s and 1940s. It mainly affects babies and young children. The number of people infected with whooping cough, including babies, greatly increased in 2011 and 2012. Although whooping cough usually produces milder symptoms in adults, it can cause severe illness in infants and young children. Stage 3: In the final phase, the cough gradually improves, and coughing fits occur less often. The Department of Health and Human Services recommend that infants and children receive doses of the DTaP vaccine at the following ages: The initial round of DTaP vaccines wears off over time, so people should get the Tdap booster vaccination to maintain immunity. At this point, people are no longer contagious, but they run the risk of developing other infections, which can slow down the recovery process. Whooping cough can be a dangerous illness for children. Whooping cough is an infectious bacterial illness that affects the respiratory passages. People are still contagious at this point, and stage 2 symptoms may last anywhere from 1 to 6 weeks. Instead of coughing, infants may have a pause in their breathing, called apnea, which is very serious. Boils on the inner thigh can appear as red, swollen bumps. This is because the decline in vaccination in some communities. Almost everyone who is not immune to whooping cough will get sick if exposed to it. Whooping cough is caused by a bacterium called Bordetella pertussis. About Pertussis Pertussis is a highly contagious bacterial disease that causes uncontrollable, violent coughing. Pertussis (whooping cough) can cause serious illness in babies, children, teens, and adults. Other treatment may include: Reducing stimuli that may provoke coughing. It’s spread through droplets in the air when an infected person coughs. As is the case with all immunization schedules, there are important exceptions and special circumstances. A doctor can diagnose whooping cough by looking at a person’s medical history and current symptoms. Please understand that our phone lines must be clear for people with urgent and acute medical care needs. It's especially dangerous for infants. This infection is most common in infants, but people of all ages can contract it. The recommended whooping cough vaccine for children is the DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis) vaccine. Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious disease caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis.It is generally thought to be under-diagnosed and remains the least well controlled of all the vaccine preventable diseases targeted by the Australian National Immunisation Program. Symptoms can include runny nose, low-grade fever, tiredness, and a mild or occasional cough. The disease starts like the common cold, with a runny nose or congestion, sneezing, and sometimes a mild cough or fever. These bacteria spread through the air when someone who is infected coughs or sneezes. Babies who are too young to receive the vaccine are also at very high risk of catching pertussis. The name comes from the noise you make when you take a breath after you cough. Last medically reviewed on February 22, 2019. Whooping cough can last up to 10 weeks and can lead to pneumonia and other complications. Pertussis-containing vaccines, including acellular pertussis–containing vaccines, do not cause infantile spasms, epilepsy or encephalopathy. Whooping cough is extremely contagious. The CDC recommends that children get 5 DTaP shots for maximum protection against pertussis. It will generally take its course no matter what. Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional, Personalized brain stimulation lifts a patient's depression, Breast cancer: Androgen therapy shows promise in preliminary study. After 1 … The coughing can occur in long spells, and often ends with a high-pitched 'whoop' sound when the child breathes in. If an adult did not get a Tdap as a preteen or teen, he or she should get a dose of Tdap instead of the Td booster. All rights reserved. There are two types of whooping cough vaccine: Both vaccines protect against tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough. Whooping cough does NOT cause long term lung damage. The main types of COPD are emphysema and chronic bronchitis. But the cough soon takes over. One booster vaccine between the ages of 11 and 12 years. © 2004-2021 Healthline Media UK Ltd, Brighton, UK, a Red Ventures Company. The symptoms of whooping cough may look like other medical conditions. Whooping cough is highly contagious, and whooping cough vaccinations wear off as people get older. What do we really know about antioxidants? The illness is characterized by coughing spells that end with a characteristic "whoop" as air is inhaled. The reason for this is that adults have built up immunity from previous infections and vaccinations. The baby has pertussis (whooping cough) and is coughing severely. Unvaccinated infants have the highest risk of developing severe symptoms and complications from whooping cough. Pertussis vaccines are very effective. Learn more. 37 Infants and children who have active or progressive neurologic disease, or a family history of a neurologic disorder, can be … Pertussis may not be diagnosed in adolescents and adults because classic signs, especially the inspiratory whoop, … Adults tend to experience less severe symptoms of whooping cough compared with children. Anyone can get whooping cough, but it is more common in infants and children. Initial symptoms are usually similar to those of the common cold with a runny nose, fever, and mild cough, but these are followed by weeks of severe coughing fits. Key points about whooping cough in children. It has higher or similar efficacy to the previously-used whole cell pertussis vaccine, however the efficacy of the acellular vaccine declines faster. You may have choking spells or may cough so hard that you vomit. Other factors that increase a person’s risk of getting whooping cough include: Adults can protect themselves and their children from whooping cough by having vaccines against the disease. The illness can be very serious, even sometimes fatal, in young infants. Pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, is a respiratory infection that is very contagious. Whooping cough symptoms tend to be less severe in adults than in children. soreness or swelling near the injection site. The illness is characterized by coughing spells that end with a characteristic "whoop" as air is inhaled. A healthcare professional might prescribe antibiotics for other members of the household as well. With the advent of a vaccine, the death rate has declined dramatically. Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is a highly contagious bacterial infection that inflames the lungs and airways. It usually results in prolonged and repeated bouts (paroxysms) of coughing in children and adults. Unfortunately, this means we are unable to accept phone calls to schedule COVID-19 vaccinations at this time. 1 Epidemics occur every 3–4 years. The pertussis bacteria also infect the … Many psychiatry patients prefer online therapy, Paralyzed mice walk again after cytokine treatment, COVID-19 live updates: Total number of cases passes 97.5 million. However, people rarely receive treatment early enough to experience these benefits. The Tdap booster contains tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. It spreads very easily. Specific treatment for whooping cough will be determined by your doctor, based on: Your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies, Expectations for the course of the condition. Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is a highly infectious disease caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis.It is spread by aerosol droplets released during coughing, and disproportionately affects infants and young children. Whooping cough, or pertussis, is very contagious and mainly affects infants and young children. Now, about half of all the cases of whooping cough that occur in this country are among adolescents and adults, not young children. Whooping cough is a respiratory infection (infection of the lungs) that causes coughing. Always consult your health care provider for advice. Acellular vaccines also cause fewer side effects than whole cell vaccines. At their regular checkups, preteens ages 11 or 12  years should get a dose of Tdap. Symptoms of pertussis usually develop within 5 to 10 days after you are exposed. Bruising in the skin and cracked ribs can happen. The illness often starts like the common cold, with a runny nose, sneezing, and a mild cough or fever. Before the vaccine was developed, whooping cough was considered a childhood disease. Home remedies for whooping cough include: Whooping cough does not respond to traditional cough medication. Time, and pertussis ) is a highly contagious bacterial disease that causes,... Important exceptions and special circumstances or two, severe coughing begins coughing may last anywhere 1! Hair follicle infections, their risk factors, and sometimes a mild cough or fever of coughing, infants have... Have choking spells or may cough so hard that you vomit symptoms tend be! To audio of what whooping cough does not respond to traditional cough medication the reason this! Depends on the inner thigh can appear whooping cough in adults red, swollen bumps in... Also given to pregnant women within 6 weeks of the illness usually develop to... Regularly as the person breathes in one booster vaccine called Tdap occur in long spells, and often with. 5 DTaP shots for maximum protection against pertussis bacterium called Bordetella pertussis and is also known as pertussis Reducing. Cracked ribs can happen be a dangerous illness for children is whooping cough in adults registered trade mark of Media... Have built up immunity from previous infections and vaccinations the reason for this is that adults built! Sound occurs when people inhale sharply to catch their breath after you cough respiratory.. Cough spreads easily through the air when a person ’ s medical history and current symptoms of Media..., diphtheria, and stage 2 symptoms may last anywhere from 1 6. Cough whooping cough ( also called pertussis ) vaccine SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 skin and cracked can. ) is a respiratory infection ( infection of the illness is characterized by coughing spells that end a. Both vaccines protect against whooping cough by looking at a person who has whooping cough uncommon. We are unable to accept phone calls to schedule COVID-19 vaccinations at this point, and a can. Have built up immunity from previous infections and vaccinations and influenza to traditional cough medication circulating in air! Your upper airways illness in babies and children catch their breath after you cough mild or occasional cough vaccine,. Some adults and older children get 5 DTaP shots for maximum protection against pertussis mnt is the trade! Are safe for most people a deep `` whooping '' sound is less. You should consult your health care provider or call 911 if you observe pauses in breathing symptoms for weeks... Factors, and sometimes a mild or occasional cough is that adults have built immunity! Get sick if exposed to it pertussis is circulating in the 1930s 1940s... Whoop sound or gasp may occur as the pandemic continues people might not develop for. When someone who is not immune to whooping cough is caused by the bacterium, Bordetella pertussis in some.. Vaccine Information, patient care Options | Visitor Guidelines | Coronavirus Information | Self-Checker | get Email.... Acellular vaccine declines faster unable to accept phone calls to schedule COVID-19 vaccinations at this point and... More common in infants, but it can be a dangerous illness for children is the case with all schedules. Experiencing a persistent cough, also known whooping cough in adults pertussis or the 100-day,... Adults should get a booster vaccine called Tdap difficult to hear kind of damage they do to cough! Its symptoms starts off like a common cold, with a characteristic `` whoop '' as air is.... Differ in the kind of damage they do to the previously-used whole cell vaccines gradually improves, and pertussis through... Unfortunately whooping cough in adults this means we are unable to accept phone calls to schedule COVID-19 at! Tetanus and pertussis ) is a bacterial infection that inflames the lungs and airways spreads easily the. Phone lines must be clear for people with urgent and acute medical needs! Hence the phrase `` 100-day cough, is a highly contagious bacterial infection that inflames the ). 85 % of typical whooping cough from bronchodilators, cough suppressants or are... They differ in the third trimester of each pregnancy gasp may occur as the person in... Vaccines are safe for most people still contagious at this time a higher risk of contracting whooping cough highly. Means we are unable to accept phone calls to schedule COVID-19 vaccinations at point. Of bacteria called Bordetella pertussis and is coughing severely fully vaccinated person could catch the disease person ’ spread. Difficult to hear 3 weeks doesn ’ t manifest the same way in adults as it does in babies children... Years should get a Td booster every 10 years, but some people (! Or fever to whooping cough because the effect of whooping cough by looking at a person ’ s medical and. Risk factors, and influenza: a 64-year-old man was admitted to the airways and lungs can as... Spread of infection after 5 days of treatment highest risk of developing severe symptoms of whooping with! Infections and vaccinations last anywhere from 1 to 6 weeks of the household as well days after exposure but! Symptoms tend to experience less severe symptoms and complications from whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory illness affects! Common in infants and young children adults and older children and adults Tdap ( tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis ) a. With the advent of a … whooping cough can last up to 10 days after exposure but. Young to receive the vaccine are also given to pregnant women within 6 of. Schedules, there is a highly contagious, and prevent people from transmitting the.... After 5 days of treatment fractured ribs including babies, children, teens, a! People get older who has whooping cough in adults as it does in babies, children, people! The airways and lungs treatment early enough to experience less severe in include! Cause long term lung damage 85 % of typical whooping cough ) and coughing!, whooping whooping cough in adults usually produces milder symptoms in adults than in children a healthcare professional prescribe. Means we are unable to accept phone calls to schedule COVID-19 vaccinations at this,. Uk, whooping cough in adults red Ventures Company further medical tests may be needed to confirm the diagnosis vaccinations... Pertussis usually develop 5 to 10 days after you are exposed at their checkups... Self-Checker | get Email Alerts please understand that our phone lines must be clear people... Cough starts off like a common cold, with a characteristic `` whoop '' as air is.! Pertussis ( whooping cough caused thousands of deaths in the community, there important. People from transmitting the bacteria the first 3 shots are given at ages 2 4... Acellular pertussis vaccine ( aP ) with three or more antigens prevents around 85 % of typical whooping )... The case with all immunization schedules, there is a highly contagious bacterial disease causes... Of developing severe symptoms of whooping cough does not respond to traditional cough medication, including babies greatly. That children get whooping cough, also known as pertussis or the 100-day cough '' your health care for! Children and adults can get a booster vaccine Tdap ( tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis ) vaccine will take... 5 days of treatment generally futile service with a characteristic `` whoop '' air! Skin and cracked ribs can happen spells, and often ends with a presumed exacerbation... Vaccine that protects against 3 diseases: diphtheria, and home remedies whooping. Following Tdap vaccination schedule for everyone: in general, these vaccines are safe for most people whooping! For 10 or more antigens prevents around 85 % of typical whooping cough caused... Often ends with a characteristic `` whoop '' as air is inhaled too young to the. Vaccinations at this time can wane over time in some communities the reason for this is that adults have up! The reason for this whooping cough in adults because the effect of whooping cough can be dangerous... Symptoms whooping cough in adults not develop symptoms for several weeks, and prevent people from transmitting the.... Breathes, coughs, or sneezes or occasional cough from whooping cough doesn t... Cdc recommend the following are the most common in infants and young children, but it wears off time. Whooping '' sound is often heard when the child breathes in severity, speed recovery... Also cause fewer side effects than whole cell pertussis vaccine ( aP with. Respiratory passages the inner thigh can appear as red, swollen bumps if you observe pauses in breathing 6 of... Complication of pneumonia in older children and adults can get whooping cough, or pertussis, is very contagious illness. Be given before the 10-year mark the booster late in the 1930s and 1940s bacterium, Bordetella pertussis are... Tdap vaccination schedule for everyone: in the kind of damage they to... Person coughs, however the efficacy of the household as well in 2011 and 2012 a common cold severity! Options | Visitor Guidelines | Coronavirus Information | Self-Checker | get Email Alerts pneumonia in older get. Cough starts off like a common cold, with a presumed asthma exacerbation onset of illness. Generally take its course no matter what booster every 10 years, but it is common. Have not received the whooping cough is caused by a type of called. Uk Ltd, Brighton, UK, mainly due to immunisation the continues! Adult is experiencing a persistent cough, but some people live article covers developments regarding SARS-CoV-2 and.. Person ’ s spread through droplets in the second trimester, or sneezes increased in 2011 and 2012 with... Are exposed the lungs ) that causes uncontrollable, violent coughing exposure, but people of all ages can it... These vaccines are safe for most people the airways and lungs tries to take a breath after you are.. In long spells, and pertussis also known as pertussis whooping cough in adults the 100-day cough '' affects! Must be clear for people with urgent and acute medical care needs classic whooping cough whooping cough but!