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Whooping Cough Vaccine in Fremont

More commonly known as whooping cough, pertussis disease is a contagious respiratory disease caused by a bacterium known as Bordetella pertussis. This sickness is especially dangerous and threatening to infants. Symptoms of pertussis disease include sneezing, congestion, and a runny nose, as well as its most recognizable symptom, a violent cough that makes a “whooping” sound—the origin of the illness’ more familiar name. While whooping cough can be treated by antibiotics, it is preventable with a safe and effective vaccine. Pertussis in infants can be fatal.

What Causes Whooping Cough?

Whooping cough occurs when a type of bacteria—Bordetella pertussis—attaches to the cilia in the upper respiratory system. The cilia are small, hair-like protrusions. The bacterium expels toxins that hurt the cilia and makes airways swell.

Pertussis is spread by contact with an infected individual. Usually this occurs through coughing or sneezing in a shared breathing area. An infant may contract the disease from an infected relative, sibling, or parent who does not even know he or she is infected. No vaccine is completely effective, so even a vaccinated person can catch whooping cough if he / she is exposed to an infected person.

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