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.
- Whooping cough