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Does whooping cough (pertussis) affect children differently than adults?

Whooping cough or pertussis can cause a very irritating cough that can last for months in adults. Some babies can be affected so badly by this cough that they may not get enough oxygen.  For this reason whooping cough is much more dangerous for babies and young children.

Whooping cough in children under the age of two years old is usually much more serious than whooping cough in teens or adults. Nearly all fatalities from this disease are children under six months of age. Young children often need to be hospitalized due to breathing difficulty. Many times they also need a tube inserted in the windpipe.

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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.