Pertussis, also known as
whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease. It is caused by the bacterium
Pertussis is known for uncontrollable, violent coughing which can make it hard to breathe. After fits of many coughs, someone with pertussis often needs to take deep breaths which result in a "whooping" sound. Pertussis can affect people of all ages, but can be very serious, even deadly, for babies less than a year old. The best way to protect against pertussis is by getting vaccinated.
Click on the player above to hear the distinctive sounds of whooping cough.