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medical : a disease that usually affects children and that causes severe coughing and difficult breathing
Full Definition of WHOOPING COUGH
: an infectious respiratory disease especially of children caused by a bacterium (Bordetella pertussis) and marked by a convulsive spasmodic cough sometimes followed by a crowing intake of breath —called also pertussis
: an infectious disease especially of children caused by a bacterium of the genus Bordetella (B. pertussis) and marked by a convulsive spasmodic cough sometimes followed by a crowing intake of breath—called also pertussis
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.