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Pertussis, a highly contagious respiratory infection and vaccine-preventable disease, is on the rise across all age groups in the United States. Reported cases of pertussis nationwide are at their highest level in 50 years. Click here to learn more about prevention and where you can get vaccinated.

Also known as whooping cough or the 100 day cough, symptoms mimic the common cold in the first week, but the cough worsens into prolonged coughing fits that last from 30 seconds to as long as 2 minutes. This disease is frequently misdiagnosed or under diagnosed.

Pertussis is dangerous to young children and infants. In fact, it can be fatal. More than 50 percent of infants who get this disease will be hospitalized and 90% of deaths from pertussis are in infants under the age of 6 months.

A simple sneeze or cough could lead to exposure.

The best prevention measure is for children, adolescents and adults to get vaccinated – Tdap for adolescents and adults and DTaP for infants and children. Infants are not considered fully immunized and protected until they have received the dose required at 15-18 months of age. By ensuring that everyone around an infant has received their vaccination, a protective “cocoon” is formed around the baby.

Give infants the circle of protection they need: save a life, get vaccinated.

Click here for a downloadable PDF about pertussis (whooping cough).