Pertussis Information

Whooping cough – or pertussis – is a very serious respiratory (in the lungs and breathing tubes) infection caused by the pertussis bacteria. It causes violent coughing you can’t stop. Whooping cough is most harmful for young babies and can be deadly.Pertussis Graphic

Early symptoms can last for 1 to 2 weeks and usually include:

  • Runny nose
  • Low-grade fever
  • Mild, occasional cough
  • Apnea - a pause in breathing (in babies)

News Release: Public Health warns of increased pertussis cases in Alabama (08/14/2017)

Immunization data reveals an increase from 113 reported cases in 2016, to 151 reported cases thus far in 2017. Pertussis cases have occurred statewide in 2017, including multiple outbreaks in Calhoun and Chambers counties.

Get Vaccinated

According to CDC, the best way to protect against pertussis is by getting vaccinated. Pregnant women should also be vaccinated with Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) during each pregnancy as a way to protect infants.

Contact your private physician or local county health department to get vaccinated and for treatment.

CDC Resources


Page last updated: September 7, 2017