Whooping cough, or pertussis is a communicable disease that affects the respiratory tract.Whooping cough specifically affects the trachea, which is the windpipe, and the bronchi, which are the tubes that extend from the trachea.Pertussis is originated from a bacterium called Bordetella pertussis.The disease is passed on by an infected person releasing particles of the bacteria into the air by coughing or sneezing, and another person breathing in the bacteria. To get whooping cough, one has to breathe in hundreds of bacterium.Housemates of a person infected with perstussis are likely to get the disease.The bacteria create toxic chemicals in the respiratory tract.These chemicals hinder the capability of the respiratory tract to remove microbial infections. They also cause swelling and can injure the lining of the breathing passages. It takes about two weeks for whooping cough to be recognizable.This disease is commonly called whooping cough because of the "whoop" a person experiences after a fit of coughing.The "whoop" occurs as the disease progresses. A person with a viral cold, a cough, or asthma, is more susceptible to this disease.
Approximately 78,000 cases of whooping cough occur each year in the
1.Infants under five months of age who have not been immunized
2.Children who have not received the pertussis vaccination
3.Individuals over ten years of age and under fifty years of age whose immunity to pertussis is fading
4.People over fifty and under sixty years of age who have never gotten the vaccine and have never had the disease
5.People over sixty who had the disease sometime during their childhood, but now their immune system is not working as well as it did when they were young