Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
In this Article
- Whooping cough (pertussis) facts
- What is whooping cough? What is the history of whooping cough?
- What causes whooping cough?
- What are risk factors for whooping cough?
- Can whooping cough be prevented with a vaccine?
- What are whooping cough symptoms, signs, and stages?
- How is whooping cough transmitted?
- Can adults get whooping cough?
- How is whooping cough diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for whooping cough?
- What is the prognosis for whooping cough?
- What are possible complications of whooping cough?
- Where can people find more information about whooping cough (pertussis)?
What are possible complications of whooping cough?
The most common complication and the cause of most whooping cough-related deaths is secondary bacterial pneumonia. (Secondary bacterial pneumonia is bacterial pneumonia that follows another infection of the lung, be it viral or bacterial. Secondary pneumonia is caused by a different virus or bacterium than the original infection.) Young infants are at highest risk for whooping cough and also for its associated complications, including secondary pneumonia. Other possible complications of whooping cough, particularly in infants less than 6 months of age, include seizures, encephalopathy (abnormal function of the brain due to decreased oxygen delivery to the brain caused by the episodes of coughing), reactive airway disease (asthma), dehydration, hearing loss, and malnutrition.
Where can people find more information about whooping cough (pertussis)?
A recording of the classic whooping sounds of whooping cough can be heard at the web site for the Utah Department of Public Health.
For immunization information on whooping cough for children, adolescents, and adults, please visit the following areas.
- Immunizations (Vaccination) for Adolescents and Adults
- Immunizations (Vaccinations) for Infants and Children
United States. California Department of Public Health. "Whooping Cough Epidemic May Be Worst in 50 Years." June 23, 2010. <http://www.cdph.ca.gov/Pages/NR10-041.aspx>.
United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Pertussis Disease - Questions & Answers (Whooping Cough)." June 2, 2010. <http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/pertussis/dis-faqs.htm>.
United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Pertussis (Whooping Cough)." Apr. 4, 2012. <http://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/>.
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