Pertussis, or whooping cough, is an acute and highly contagious disease caused by a bacteria, Bordetella pertussis. Pertussis symptoms can be different depending on age and vaccination status.
Pertussis usually starts with cold like symptoms, and maybe a mild cough that progresses to a cough with spasms in 1-2 weeks. Infants and children with Pertussis can cough violently until the air is gone from their lungs forcing them to inhale with a loud “whooping” sound. The pattern of extreme coughing can lead to vomiting and exhaustion.