I have spoken with several parents who believed that pertussis was a disease of the past. Nevertheless, pertussis is a common cause of chronic cough illness in adults and older children.
A study published in the June 15, 2001 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases found that pertussis was the cause of chronic cough in 19.9% of the patients studied.
For healthy teens and adults, this is usually nothing more than a long nuisance (lasting months, sometimes with vomiting). For babies and those at high risk, pertussis can be severe or even life threatening.
Dr. Greene is the founder of DrGreene.com (cited by the AMA as “the pioneer physician Web site”), a practicing pediatrician, father of four, & author of Raising Baby Green & Feeding Baby Green. He appears frequently in the media including such venues as the The New York Times, the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, & the Dr. Oz Show.