Whooping cough is a highly contagious, bacterial respiratory infection that spreads through droplets from coughing. It causes violent coughing and creates difficulty in drinking, eating and breathing. The illness lasts on average from 6 to 10 weeks.
Possible complications from whooping cough are, among others, pneumonia, convulsions, brain damage and, in rare cases, death. Children under 12 months old are the most at risk for complications.
Whooping cough can be avoided by vaccination. For more information on vaccination against whooping cough, visit the Vaccination page.