Pertussis Information

Preventing Whooping Cough (Pertussis) and Future Outbreaks

Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease. It is caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis.  Pertussis is known for uncontrollable, violent coughing which often makes it hard to breathe. Whooping Cough can be fatal, especially in babies less than 1 year of age.

Please ensure that you have been vaccinated against whooping cough.  Booster doses are required throughout life, as a protection against whooping cough wanes over time.  

  • Infants are recommended to begin the Pertussis series, DTaP, as early as 6 weeks of age.  Just one dose of DTap may offer some protection against fatal whooping cough disease in infants.   Young children are suggested to receive five doses of DTaP by Kindergarten.  
  • Adults are recomm​ended to receive a Tdap booster especially when in contact with small children.
  • Pregnant women should receive their whooping cough vaccine during the 3rd trimester of every pregnancy to protect both themselves and their baby.
If you have recently had close contact to persons with whooping cough and do not have a current immunization, it is important to receive antibiotic medications.

To find out if your vaccination is up to date, please see your Primary Care Physician or call out Immunization office here at the Health Department - 231-995-6131.

For additional information about Pertussis -