Whooping cough is a highly contagious disease caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis. Anyone
can contract whooping cough, but infants under six months old are at higher risk of severe
complications (even death). In 2017-18, four out of every ten whooping cough patients were infants
who hadn't completed their vaccine regimen.
Whooping cough can spread through close contact or droplets (like coughing or sneezing). As
early symptoms are not obvious, parents of newborns may not realise they've contracted the disease
and could infect their baby while caring for them.
The symptoms of this disease can last for two to three months, close to 100 days, hence the name
"whooping cough". Early symptoms are mild, similar to a common cold, including a runny nose,
sneezing, coughing, and fever.
Patients need plenty of rest and to consume plenty of fluids to improve their condition. Depending on
the degree and timing of infection, doctors will offer different treatments:
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