WHAT IS PERTUSSIS?
Pertussis, commonly known as "Whooping Cough," is an illness caused by bacterium that affects the respiratory tract (nose, throat, and lungs). Complications may include ear infections, seizures, lung collapse, pneumonia, hernias and brain damage. Some severe cases can lead to death. Pertussis is an especially serious illness for children under one year of age. Pertussis has become more common in the United States and Colorado in the last decade.
HOW DO I GET PERTUSSIS?
Pertussis is spread by breathing in droplets of an infected person's cough or sneeze. Usually people become infected when they are in close contact (an arm's length away) or live with an infected person.
Symptoms usually appear within 7-10 days, but can appear from 5 - 21 days after exposure to an infected person. The cough may last several months. Symptoms occur in three stages. The first stage may last 1 - 2 weeks.
Second stage symptoms may last for 1 - 6 weeks.
Third stage symptoms may last 2 - 3 weeks.
HOW LONG IS AN INFECTED PERSON CONTAGIOUS (able to spread the disease)?