Whooping cough vaccination

Whooping cough vaccination


Pertussis is a highly contagious disease characterized by severe coughing fits. It’s caused by a bacterium travelling in droplets projected into the air by an infected person, for example, when coughing or sneezing. In Quebec, there are between 240 and 1,600 cases of whooping cough every year.


Infection usually begins with the following symptoms:

  • low-grade fever;
  • nasal discharge;
  • red, watery eyes
  • cough ( This cough becomes stronger and more frequent after 7 to 14 days.

After a coughing fit, the infected person may inhale and emit a sound reminiscent of a rooster crowing. This is why the disease is known as “whooping cough”. The person may then vomit or stop breathing for a few moments).

The disease is most severe in babies under 1 year of age. In the latter, the cough may be mild or even absent. Sometimes the main symptom is apnea, i.e. pauses in breathing.
Symptoms generally appear 5 to 10 days, sometimes even 21 days, after infection. Whooping cough lasts from 6 to 10 weeks. However, it can last longer than 10 weeks in teenagers.
Source: Quebec Ministry of Health