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What causes whooping cough (pertussis)?

Whooping cough is caused by bacteria called Bordetella pertussis. The bacteria infect the respiratory tract and allow germs to multiply. Mucus accumulation in the bronchial tubes leads to coughing. The characteristic "whoop" cough is due to inflammation of the airways, also caused by the bacteria. When you try to breathe in after a coughing fit, the narrowed bronchi produce the high-pitched "whooping" cough.

Continue Learning about Whooping Cough

What You Need To Know About Whooping Cough
What You Need To Know About Whooping Cough
Pertussis, or whooping cough, is a serious respiratory infection that can jeopardize the health of babies, children and adults. Learn all about whoopi...
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How can I protect my children from pertussis (whooping cough)?
Univ. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family MedicineUniv. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family Medicine
The best way to prevent pertussis (whooping cough) is to get vaccinated. Parents can also help prote...
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How does whooping cough (pertussis) affect the body?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
The bacterium Bordetella pertussis infects the respiratory tract and prevents natural defense system...
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How Effective Are Pertussis (Whooping Cough) Vaccines?
How Effective Are Pertussis (Whooping Cough) Vaccines?

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.