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Health Tip: Understanding Whooping Cough

(HealthDay News) -- Whooping cough is an infection of the respiratory system caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis, the Nemours Foundation says.

The highly contagious infection, typically affecting children. can trigger coughing spells that can last more than a minute.

The child's face may turn red or purple, and the child may vomit, Nemours adds.

Nemours offers this additional information about whooping cough:

  • It can be prevented by the whooping cough vaccine, which is among DTaP immunizations given in a series of five doses during infancy.

  • People who come into close contact with someone who has whopping cough should be given an antibiotic to help prevent the disease from spreading.

  • Adults should get a booster shot if they have a new baby. The infection can cause life-threatening problems among babies.

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