Whooping cough in adults: An update on a reemerging infection

Robert D. Paisley*, Jason Blaylock, Joshua D. Hartzell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

23 Scopus citations


Pertussis, or whooping cough, which is commonly thought of as a pediatric illness, is an underappreciated adult pathogen. Recent outbreaks highlight the significance of pertussis in adults and the risk of transmission to at-risk infants who are most susceptible to complications, including death. This article describes the recent epidemiologic shifts and reviews the clinical presentation, diagnosis, and treatment of pertussis. New vaccination recommendations by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices in response to recent outbreaks and infant deaths are highlighted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-143
Number of pages3
JournalThe American Journal of Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Pertussis
  • Tdap
  • Whooping cough


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