What are the symptoms of whooping cough (pertussis) my child would have?


Your child may have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • The first symptoms of pertussis are like a common cold
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Mild cough
  • Low-grade fever (less than 100.4°F)
  • In about 1 – 2 weeks, the dry cough turns to severe coughing spells that end in a “whooping” sound when your child breathes in.
  • The coughing spells may last a minute or more.
  • These spells may last up to 10 weeks.
  • Untreated pertussis may cause severe illness and even death, especially in babies.

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

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.