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Whooping Cough Causes & Risks


Whooping cough is caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis . It is spread by:

  • Inhaling droplets from the sneeze or cough of a person infected with whooping cough
  • Having direct contact with the respiratory secretions of a person infected with whooping cough

Risk Factors

A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition.

Risk factors include:

  • Age: late infancy and early childhood
  • Not being immunized
  • Living in the same house or working in close contact with someone infected with whooping cough
  • Living in close quarters (such as a dormitory or nursing home)
  • Living in crowded, unsanitary conditions
  • Pregnancy

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2023 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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