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Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

Pertussis Outbreak Situation Report - January 24, 2018

Whooping cough is community wide-protect yourself and others (Times-News Public Health Column - January 3, 2018)

Pertussis - What You Need to Know Now PDF

  • Anyone who will have close contact with new babies should have the pertussis vaccine.
  • Families should ask about the vaccination or any illness/symptoms of those wanting to visit/hold new babies.
  • Please stay home if you are coughing and sick.

Pertussis is a very contagious respiratory disease usually spread to another person by coughing or sneezing or when spending a lot of time near one another where you share breathing space. Many babies who get pertussis are infected by older siblings, parents, or caregivers who might not even know they have the disease.

Pertussis is known for uncontrollable, violent coughing which often makes it hard to breathe. After cough fits, someone with pertussis often needs to take deep breaths, which result in a “whooping” sound. Pertussis can affect people of all ages, but can be very serious, even deadly, for babies less than a year old.

The best way to protect against pertussis is by getting vaccinated. English | en Español

When pertussis circulates in the community, there is a chance that a fully vaccinated person, of any age, can catch this disease. If you have gotten the pertussis vaccine but still get sick, the infection is usually not as bad.

Key Facts

  • Whooping cough is very dangerous, especially to infants, pregnant women, and those with weakened immune systems.
  • It can be spread easily person to person.
  • Anyone can get whooping cough. Even if you have been vaccinated protection can lessen over time. If you have been vaccinated against whooping cough you may have milder symptoms.
  • The symptoms often start off mild, like a cold – runny nose, sneezing, mild cough.
  • Pertussis is not the only respiratory illness in our community. It is also Flu Season. As with all respiratory illnesses, if you are sick – please stay home to keep others from getting sick, and reach out to your doctor for appropriate care.
  • If your doctor thinks you have whooping cough and treats you with an antibiotic, you should stay home until you have finished the medication.


Fact Sheets

Pertussis - What You Need to Know Now

Pertussis (Whooping Cough): Questions and Answers

Whooping Cough and the Vaccine (Shot) Spanish

Pertussis and Your Child Care Center



Pertussis (Whooping Cough) (CDC)

Pertussis Frequently Asked Questions (CDC)

Outbreaks (CDC)

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Department of Public Health • 1200 Spartanburg Highway, Suite 100 • Hendersonville, NC 28792 • (828) 692-4223

Last updated January 25, 2018