Whooping cough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Whooping cough is a highly contagious, notifiable, bacterial disease caused by the Gram-negative bacteria, Bordetella pertussis, which lives in the respiratory tract. The disease presents at the catarrhal stage from day 0–week 2. This is followed by the paroxysmal stage from week 2–4. The final stage is the convulsant stage from week 4–6.

Whooping cough affects all age groups, but there appears to be a higher incidence among secondary school-age children. Although the symptoms of pertussis in older children/adults can be less severe than in infants, they can become a reservoir and a source of transmission to more vulnerable infants. It is therefore important to be able to identify the disease and notify the local public health officer as soon as possible.

This article will consider the case study of a young man who presented in primary care with a potential case of whooping cough. It outlines the process of assessment and diagnosis and his resultant diagnosis. It also reviews the management of whooping cough.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)316-319
Number of pages3
JournalNurse Prescribing
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 02 Jul 2018


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