Whooping cough is a very contagious cough illness. It is spread through droplets from the mouth and nose when a person with pertussis coughs, sneezes, or talks. Young infants are at highest risk for severe illness, hospitalization and death from whooping cough.
Whooping cough vaccine prevents disease and saves lives. Before routine childhood whooping cough vaccination there were on average over 200,000 cases of whooping cough and 4,000 deaths EACH YEAR in the US. Whooping cough cases and deaths have been reduced by over 90% through widespread use of routine whooping cough vaccination. Despite this success, whooping cough has not been eliminated and has been increasing in recent years, reminding us of the importance of keeping vaccination rates up.
Be sure all children, teens & adults are up-to-date with whooping cough vaccine. Older children, teens and adults who aren’'t up-to-date on their vaccine can spread the infection to infants, pregnant women and others.
Talk to your health care provider to make sure your whooping cough vaccine is up-to-date. Many local pharmacies also offer whooping cough vaccine.