• English

    Google Translate Disclaimer

    The Maryland Department of Information Technology (“DoIT”) offers translations of the content through Google Translate. Because Google Translate is an external website, DoIT does not control the quality or accuracy of translated content. All DoIT content is filtered through Google Translate which may result in unexpected and unpredictable degradation of portions of text, images and the general appearance on translated pages. Google Translate may maintain unique privacy and use policies. These policies are not controlled by DoIT and are not associated with DoIT’s privacy and use policies. After selecting a translation option, users will be notified that they are leaving DoIT’s website. Users should consult the original English content on DoIT’s website if there are any questions about the translated content.

    DoIT uses Google Translate to provide language translations of its content. Google Translate is a free, automated service that relies on data and technology to provide its translations. The Google Translate feature is provided for informational purposes only. Translations cannot be guaranteed as exact or without the inclusion of incorrect or inappropriate language. Google Translate is a third-party service and site users will be leaving DoIT to utilize translated content. As such, DoIT does not guarantee and does not accept responsibility for, the accuracy, reliability, or performance of this service nor the limitations provided by this service, such as the inability to translate specific files like PDFs and graphics (e.g. .jpgs, .gifs, etc.).

    DoIT provides Google Translate as an online tool for its users, but DoIT does not directly endorse the website or imply that it is the only solution available to users. All site visitors may choose to use alternate tools for their translation needs. Any individuals or parties that use DoIT content in translated form, whether by Google Translate or by any other translation services, do so at their own risk. DoIT is not liable for any loss or damages arising out of, or issues related to, the use of or reliance on translated content. DoIT assumes no liability for any site visitor’s activities in connection with use of the Google Translate functionality or content.

    The Google Translate service is a means by which DoIT offers translations of content and is meant solely for the convenience of non-English speaking users of the website. The translated content is provided directly and dynamically by Google; DoIT has no direct control over the translated content as it appears using this tool. Therefore, in all contexts, the English content, as directly provided by DoIT is to be held authoritative.

    Pertussis Fact Sheet

    PDF Version of this Fact Sheet

    Pertussis, or whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis

    This bacterium is found in the nose, throat and mouth of an infected person, and can be easily spread. Pertussis can occur at any age, but often causes serious problems in babies, and is usually milder in older children and adults. Children who are too young to be fully vaccinated and those that have not received all their vaccinations are at highest risk for severe illness and complications. Complications of pertussis can include pneumonia (infection of the lungs), encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), seizures, and other physical and medical outcomes associated with a severe cough.

    Pertussis is spread from person-to-person by airborne droplets and close contact with infected respiratory secretions.

    Pertussis is spread to others by direct, close contact with secretions from the nose, throat and mouth of an infected person. Droplets from a cough or a sneeze can spread the disease to others. A person with pertussis may be contagious for as long as 2 weeks before to 3 weeks after symptoms begin. Anyone with pertussis should not attend childcare, school, work, or other public places until they have completed 5 days of an appropriate antibiotic treatment.

    Symptoms to look for include:

    • Low fever
    • Runny nose
    • Cough that is mild at first, then severe with times of deep, rapid coughing and a crowing or high pitched “whoop”. The cough often worsens at night.
    • Vomiting after coughing

    Symptoms occur within 4 to 21 days (usually 7 to 10 days) after someone has been exposed to an infected person.

    Laboratory testing is needed to confirm a pertussis infection.

    People who think they may have pertussis should see a doctor or their local health department immediately to be tested by swabbing the back of the nose. 

    See a doctor for treatment.

    Pertussis is treated with an antibiotic, and if treated soon enough, the antibiotic may decrease the contagiousness and severity of the disease.

    A person in close contact with someone who has pertussis should be given an antibiotic and/or pertussis vaccination to prevent acquiring and spreading pertussis.

    People in close contact may include:

    • Persons who live in the same house;
    • Persons who have contact with mouth or nose secretions, such as through a cough or sneeze, or sharing food and eating utensils;
    • Persons who have done medical treatments such as mouth-to-mouth resuscitation or intubation; or
    • Close contacts in child and daycare settings, schools, work, or extracurricular activities.

    Pertussis disease can be prevented with a pertussis vaccine.

    Every child should get pertussis vaccine at 2, 4, 6, and 15 to 18 months of age, and another dose at 4 to 6 years of age. Pertussis vaccine is also recommended for adolescents ages 11 to 18, pregnant women, healthcare workers, and adults in close contact with infants. Age-appropriate vaccination against pertussis is required for enrollment in Maryland childcare institutions and schools. For additional information about pertussis vaccine, please visit: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/pertussis/default.htm.