Can whooping cough (pertussis) cause other illnesses?

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Whooping cough (pertussis) may cause other illnesses -- especially in babies less than a year old because they haven’t been completely immunized. Half of the babies who get pertussis end up in the hospital. About 25% of them will get pneumonia and another 60% of them will get apnea, where they stop breathing for a short period of time. About 1% of these babies have seizures, and a few babies may acquire infections of the brain tissue caused by pertussis bacteria. Only 1% of babies that go into the hospital with pertussis actually die.
 

Whooping cough can lead to pneumonia and ear infections in infants. Other problems that may arise in infants include seizures, breathing difficulties, dehydration, and brain damage. In adults, whooping cough can cause injuries related to the coughing. These include broken capillaries in the eyes or skin, hernias, or bruised ribs.

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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.