Back to Health A to Z. Whooping cough also called pertussis is a bacterial infection of the lungs and breathing tubes. It spreads very easily. Whooping cough can spread very easily. It's best to call the GP before you go in. They might suggest talking over the phone.
Whooping cough, or pertussis, is a highly contagious condition. This infection is most common in infants, but people of all ages can contract it. Whooping cough symptoms tend to be less severe in adults than in children. Unvaccinated infants have the highest risk of developing severe symptoms and complications from whooping cough. In this article, we discuss the symptoms and complications of whooping cough in adults and the treatment options.
Pertussis whooping cough can cause serious illness in babies, children, teens, and adults. Symptoms of pertussis usually develop within 5 to 10 days after you are exposed. Sometimes pertussis symptoms do not develop for as long as 3 weeks. The disease usually starts with cold-like symptoms and maybe a mild cough or fever. In babies, the cough can be minimal or not even there.
Whooping cough pertussis is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection. In many people, it's marked by a severe hacking cough followed by a high-pitched intake of breath that sounds like "whoop. Before the vaccine was developed, whooping cough was considered a childhood disease. Now whooping cough primarily affects children too young to have completed the full course of vaccinations and teenagers and adults whose immunity has faded. Deaths associated with whooping cough are rare but most commonly occur in infants.