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More on Pertussis

Whooping Cough
(Pertussis) (cont.)

What causes whooping cough?

Whooping cough is caused by an infection with a bacterium known as Bordetella pertussis. The bacteria attach to the lining of the airways in the upper respiratory system and release toxins that lead to inflammation and swelling.

Most people acquire the bacteria by breathing in the bacteria that are present in droplets released when an infected person coughs or sneezes.