Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

PSA: Help Build a Circle of Protection

Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious bacterial disease that most commonly affects infants and young children. Whooping cough can be fatal, especially in babies less than 1 year in age who are not fully immunized.

Pertussis is preventable – the best way to protect babies and children is immunization and by making sure everyone 10 years and older has received a Tdap (Tetanus – diphtheria – pertussis) booster shot. You can help build a circle of protection around all the babies in your life by getting a Tdap pertussis booster shot.

Immunization recommendations vary depending on age and other circumstances; always consult with your physician about which vaccines are recommended for you. Most health plans cover preventive immunizations. If you have questions about your coverage, check with your health plan. You may also check with your local public health department about the availability of free or reduced-price vaccinations available in your area.


For additional information, we suggest reputable online sources including:

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pertussis home page includes facts about causes and transmission, outbreaks, immunization recommendations, and more.
  • The Michigan Department of Community Health reports disease facts, information for individuals and families, and links to helpful information, including pertussis videos that capture the distinctive “whooping” sound associated with the disease.


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