Whooping Cough

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Pertussis, also known as whooping cough ( /ˈhuːpɪŋ kɒf/ or /ˈhwuːpɪŋ kɒf/), is a highly contagious bacterial disease caused by Bordetella pertussis. In some countries, this disease is called the 100 days' cough or cough of 100 days.

Symptoms are initially mild, and then develop into severe coughing fits, which produce the namesake high-pitched "whoop" sound in infected babies and children when they inhale air after coughing. The coughing stage lasts for approximately six weeks before subsiding.

Prevention via vaccination is of primary importance as treatment is of little clinical benefit to the person infected. Antibiotics, however, do decrease the duration of infectiousness and are thus recommended. It is estimated that the disease currently affects 48.5 million people yearly, resulting in nearly 295,000 deaths.

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