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Pertussis , also called whooping cough, is a highly contagious bacterial infection of the lining and airways of the respiratory tract. It is caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis.
Pertussis is spread by:
- Inhaling wet droplets from the sneeze or cough of a person infected with pertussis
- Having direct contact with the person’s respiratory secretions
This infection is most common in infants and children. People at most risk are those who:
- Have not been immunized
- Live or work with someone who has pertussis
- Live in close quarters (eg, dormitory, nursing home)
- Live in crowded or unsanitary conditions
- Are pregnant
- Runny nose and congestion
- Watery, red eyes
- Dry cough
- Severe coughing spells that may end...