Pertussis, or whooping cough, is a bacterial respiratory infection that might look like a cold at first. Learn more about the symptoms of this serious condition and when you should worry.
[MUSIC] Pertussis or Whooping Cough is a bacterial respiratory infection that can cause violent coughing. It's a serious condition, but at first your child simply may appear to have a cold. A week or two later, he may experience vomiting, fatigue, and fits of coughing, sometimes with this distressing whooping sound. Coughing episodes become more frequent and severe. And may get worse at night. Pertussis is most dangerous in young babies. If your baby chokes or pauses while breathing contact your doctor immediately. If he stops breathing or his skin becomes blue call 911 right away. Early treatment is crucial especially in infants because of the risk of additional infections like pneumonia and for breathing support when necessary. If it's caught right away your pediatrician may prescribe antibiotics which can lessen the severity of the illness and decrease the likelihood of infecting other. The infection typically lasts about six weeks. But the cough can linger much longer. Pertussis spreads quickly. And your child is most contagious within the first two weeks of the cough. Keep him away from others, especially children or babies. [MUSIC]