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Pertussis is also known as ‘whooping cough’. The infected person may initially have non-specific symptoms like runny nose, sneezing, low-grade fever and mild cough. The cough gradually becomes more severe and spells of violent coughing can interfere with eating, drinking and breathing. The bacteria can cause lung infection, and even lead to seizures and coma in severe cases. Pertussis is transmitted by direct contact with droplets from patients. Antibiotic is useful in treating the disease.

Active immunisation with pertussis vaccine is an effective way to prevent the disease. It offers good protection and the disease is milder in those who are infected after immunisation. Pregnant women are recommended to receive one dose of acellular pertussis-containing vaccine at any time in the second or third trimester, preferably before 35 weeks of gestation during each pregnancy.

For details, please refer to the factsheet of Pertussis


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  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • World Health Organization