Whooping cough, also called pertussis, is a contagious disease. It causes severe coughing that can last up to several months. Anyone can get whooping cough. Today, it is most often found in young adults who did not receive a vaccination.

Whooping cough can last between six to ten weeks and may occur in three stages.  Young children may experience all three stages while teens and adults may not.  Learn more about the symptoms of whooping cough.

The best way to prevent whooping cough is to get vaccinated. It is also important to make sure your vaccination is up-to-date.  The Tdap (whooping cough) vaccine can prevent whooping cough or make it less severe. 

Pregnant women should encourage all those who will be around their baby after birth to receive the vaccine. Pregnant women should speak with a doctor or nurse to see if it’s safe to get the vaccine during pregnancy.


Whooping Cough Vaccine

Whooping cough vaccines are designed to cover different age ranges. Learn more about the whooping cough vaccine and which one is right for you and your family.


Additional Resources

UW Health physician, Dr. James Conway, a pediatric infectious disease specialist, describes whooping cough and its effect on infants in this short article.