top of page

Pertussis (Whooping Cough)



Pertussis also known as whooping cough is a serious and very contagious bacterial respiratory infection caused by the Bordetella pertussis bacterium. A severe characteristic cough can establish itself for months after the acute infection passes. Whilst whooping cough is serious for all people infected, it is particularly dangerous for children under the age of six months and has a fatality rate of 0.5%. It is usually spread through inhaling the cough or sneeze of infected people. 




  • Whooping sound on inhalation during cough

  • Severe cough occurring in episodes

  • Apnoea (stopping breathing)

  • Vomiting 

  • Exhaustion

  • Pneumonia




A vaccine is the best method available to prevent pertussis. A booster vaccine is recommended for adults as the immunity decreases after 6-10 years. Free vaccines for women in their third trimester are available in Queensland. 

bottom of page