Pertussis, also known as "whooping cough," is a highly contagious respiratory infection. Pertussis causes violent coughing which can make it hard to breath.
Pertussis affects babies and young children most commonly and most severely. From 2003 to 2013, babies less than 1 year old accounted for 14% of pertussis cases and 82% of pertussis hospitalizations. Five infants with pertussis died
The best way to protect against pertussis is to get vaccinated.
- Vaccination is routinely recommended for infants over 2 months of age, children, adolescents and adults.
- To protect the babies who are at highest risk of pertussis, all pregnant women should be vaccinated with Tdap during each pregnancy. Vaccination during pregnancy allows the mother to make antibodies that cross the placenta and may protect the baby even before the baby can be vaccinated.