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Communicable Disease

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Pertussis (whooping cough)

  • Is a respiratory infection that can cause severe coughing or trouble breathing. 
  • Can infect people of all ages, but is most serious in infants, young children, and the elderly. 
  • Is spread through droplets in the air when a person coughs or sneezes.
  • Begins much like a cold with a runny nose, low grade fever and mild cough for 1-2 weeks. 
  • Progresses to coughing spells that interrupt breathing, sleeping, and can be followed by vomiting and exhaustion. 
  • Coughing spells can last from several weeks to months. 
  • In older children, adolescents, and adults the symptoms are usually milder and without the typical whoop.
  • Persons with pertussis should stay home from school and other activities until they have finished 5 days of antibiotics.
  • The best way to prevent pertussis is to be vaccinated.


Information for Healthcare Professionals
For more information please contact:

Eau Claire City County Health Department - 715-839-4718

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