While many people are being diligent and getting flu shots, most people aren’t aware that a separate shot is needed for protection from whooping cough.
Whooping cough is a form of bacteria that affects the respiratory system and it’s highly contagious. It can be caught by just breathing.
The illness can last for weeks, and in some cases, for months. It’s extremely dangerous for adults and can be fatal for infants.
“Someone can cough with whooping cough, and it can stay in the air for a while, so you might not even be next to someone, but just go into an area where someone has been coughing,” Marquette County Health Department nurse Jill Santti said. “The type of cough you have is the type of cough where you might vomit, and it’s very scary to listen to. It makes a whooping sound and people are having a hard time breathing, and you are going to be coughing ’til the point where you are exhausted.”
Whooping cough starts off like a common cold, with a runny nose, congestion, sneezing, mild cough and fever; severe coughing begins a week or two later.