Whooping cough, or pertussis, is a highly contagious condition. This infection is most common in infants, but people of all ages can contract it. Whooping cough symptoms tend to be less severe in adults than in children. Unvaccinated infants have the highest risk of developing severe symptoms and complications from whooping cough.
Whooping cough in adults: Symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment
Pertussis, often called whooping cough, is caused by a bacterial infection. While infants have the greatest chance of getting whooping cough, the illness can be contracted at any age. In general, whooping cough starts off like a common cold. Symptoms can include runny nose, low-grade fever, tiredness, and a mild or occasional cough. Over time, coughing spells become more severe. Coughing may last for several weeks, sometimes 10 weeks or longer.
What to know about whooping cough in adults
Pertussis whooping cough can cause serious illness in babies, children, teens, and adults. Symptoms of pertussis usually develop within 5 to 10 days after you are exposed. Sometimes pertussis symptoms do not develop for as long as 3 weeks. The disease usually starts with cold-like symptoms and maybe a mild cough or fever. In babies, the cough can be minimal or not even there.
Back to Health A to Z. Whooping cough also called pertussis is a bacterial infection of the lungs and breathing tubes. It spreads very easily. Whooping cough can spread very easily.