whooping cough

whoop·​ing cough | \ ˈhü-piŋ- How to pronounce whooping cough (audio) , ˈhu̇- \

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

Examples of whooping cough in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Some vaccines, like those that work against whooping cough, leverage antibodies’ wayfaring tendencies and are recommended for all pregnant people specifically to keep newborns safe. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, "New Parents Are Now Vaccinating for Two," 31 Mar. 2021 Vaccines against flu and whooping cough also provide protection for the first few months of a baby's life. Karen Weintraub, USA TODAY, "Pregnant women 'didn't have the data' – until now: COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, even for babies, study shows," 27 Mar. 2021 For several years, infant vaccination rates fell, leading to a rise in cases of whooping cough. Blake Essig, CNN, "Why Japan took so long to start Covid-19 vaccinations, even with the Olympics looming," 26 Feb. 2021 To protect both a mother and her baby, it has been recommended for years, for example, that pregnant women get vaccinated against flu and whooping cough, shots with abundant safety data behind them. Elizabeth Chuck, NBC News, "Data on pregnancy and the Covid vaccine is sparse. These women are changing that.," 25 Feb. 2021 Flu shots that do not involve a weakened live virus and the tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough vaccine (called Tdap), for example, are not only considered safe but are actively recommended during pregnancy. Mariana Lenharo, Scientific American, "Why COVID Vaccines Are Likely Safe for Pregnant People," 2 Feb. 2021 For example, vaccines against Bordetella pertussis, the primary bacterium that causes whooping cough, or pertussis, do a great job of preventing illness but do not entirely clear the pathogen. Stacey Mckenna, Scientific American, "Vaccines Need Not Completely Stop COVID Transmission to Curb the Pandemic," 18 Jan. 2021 His team also has similar work ongoing about the history of whooping cough, measles and scarlet fever. Ryan Prior, CNN, "What 3 centuries of smallpox mortality data shows about how epidemics linger," 22 Dec. 2020 Then there is the small but growing population of children whose parents refuse to vaccinate them against once-common diseases like whooping cough. Editorial Board Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Here's what guns, COVID have in common," 20 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'whooping cough.' 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 whooping cough

circa 1670, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for whooping cough

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The first known use of whooping cough was circa 1670

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Statistics for whooping cough

Last Updated

2 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Whooping cough.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whooping%20cough. Accessed 14 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for whooping cough

whooping cough


English Language Learners Definition of whooping cough

medical : a disease that usually affects children and that causes severe coughing and difficult breathing

whooping cough


Kids Definition of whooping cough

: a bacterial disease especially of children in which severe attacks of coughing are often followed by a high-pitched gasping intake of breath

whooping cough


Medical Definition of whooping cough

: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on whooping cough

Nglish: Translation of whooping cough for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about whooping cough

Comments on whooping cough

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