whooping cough


whooping cough

Acute, very contagious childhood disease, typically with bouts of coughing followed by a long, loud inhalation (whoop) and ending with mucus expulsion and often vomiting. Caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis, it initially resembles a cold with a short dry cough. Within one or two weeks, coughing bouts begin; this phase usually lasts four to six weeks. Serious complications include bronchopneumonia (pneumonia involving the bronchi), asphyxia, seizures, and signs of brain damage. Treatment is with antibiotics. The pertussis vaccine is usually combined with tetanus and diphtheria toxoids as part of routine childhood immunizations.

Variants of WHOOPING COUGH

whooping cough or pertussis

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on whooping cough, visit Britannica.com.

Seen & Heard

What made you look up whooping cough? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More