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Whooping Cough

Why is it in the news?

  • The incidence of whooping cough has been increasing in countries such as China, the Netherlands, and the Czech Republic.

More about the newsTop of Form

  • Whooping cough, or pertussis, is a highly contagious respiratory illness caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis.
  • The disease is characterized by severe paroxysmal coughing, often accompanied by a distinctive “whooping” sound during inhalation.
  • Whooping cough can be particularly severe in infants, and complications may include pneumonia and even death, making it a significant public health concern.
  • The bacterium responsible for whooping cough is transmitted through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes, highlighting the importance of preventive measures such as proper hygiene and vaccination.
  • The illness typically begins with cold-like symptoms and a low-grade fever, progressing to severe coughing fits with the characteristic “whooping” sound. These coughing spells can be prolonged and intense, sometimes leading to vomiting.
  • Prevention of whooping cough is primarily achieved through vaccination. Two vaccines are available to protect children: DTaP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, and acellular Pertussis) vaccine, given to infants and young children, and Tdap (Tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular Pertussis) vaccine, administered to adolescents and adults as a booster dose.
  • Vaccination against whooping cough is crucial not only for individual protection but also for community immunity, reducing the overall incidence of the disease and protecting vulnerable populations such as infants who are too young to be fully vaccinated.

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