Can I develop whooping cough (pertussis) as an adult?

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Dr. Darria Long Gillespie, MD
Emergency Medicine
You can develop whooping cough, or pertussis, as an adult, although the symptoms may be different. In this video, I will explain that this vaccine does require a booster every 10 years.

Yes, you can develop whooping cough as an adult. The vaccine series you received as a child may no longer be effective. If you are concerned about being exposed to whooping cough, ask your doctor if you have received a booster shot for whooping cough recently. If you think you have been exposed, talk to your doctor about taking antibiotics.

Continue Learning about Whooping Cough

Whooping Cough

Whooping Cough

If your child experiences uncontrollable coughing that makes it difficult for them to breathe, talk to your doctor about whooping cough. Thousands of people yearly become ill with whooping cough, which is also known as pertussis, ...

and some are hospitalized. This highly contagious illness can be very dangerous, and even deadly, in young infants. Thankfully, vaccines have helped to reduce the spread of whooping cough, although current vaccines are not 100% effective against this illness. If your child contracts this bacterial respiratory infection he or she will most likely be treated with antibiotics. To protect your children against whooping cough, talk to your doctor about vaccination
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.