per·​tus·​sis | \ pər-ˈtə-səs How to pronounce pertussis (audio) \

Definition of pertussis

Examples of pertussis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The technology itself isn't novel — there are hepatitis B and pertussis vaccines that use the same science. The Week, 9 June 2021 Compulsory shots helped eradicate smallpox in the 20th century, along with curbing a spate of other illnesses, including diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio, measles, rubella, and chickenpox. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz, 5 Nov. 2021 Becoming fully immunized against polio, hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus or pertussis requires at least three shots, sometimes more. Karen Kaplan Science And Medicine Editor, Los Angeles Times, 14 Dec. 2021 This level of protection is comparable to that provided by vaccines mandated for elementary schoolers in all 50 states: polio (99 percent), measles (97 percent), chickenpox (94 percent), and pertussis (84 percent). Rachel Gutman, The Atlantic, 5 Nov. 2021 The pentavalent vaccine -- which protects against five diseases (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenzae type B) -- is a great example. Bill Gates, CNN, 13 Oct. 2021 For example, the vaccine against whooping cough (pertussis) requires five doses over several years for the primary series, followed by a booster at age 11-12. Mark Kortepeter, Forbes, 21 Sep. 2021 Then in the early 1990s, when doctors began to detect pertussis infections in adolescents and adults who had been vaccinated, scientists shrugged and recommended boosters. Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times, 21 Oct. 2021 Shots for hepatitis A dropped by 13% from 2019 to 2020, with immunizations for polio and DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis, or whooping cough) down by 10%. Erin Alberty, The Salt Lake Tribune, 1 Nov. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pertussis.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of pertussis

circa 1772, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pertussis

New Latin, from Latin per- thoroughly + tussis cough

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The first known use of pertussis was circa 1772

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Last Updated

16 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Pertussis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jan. 2022.

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English Language Learners Definition of pertussis


per·​tus·​sis | \ pər-ˈtəs-əs How to pronounce pertussis (audio) \

Medical Definition of pertussis

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