Whooping cough, or pertussis, is a bacterial infection of the lining of the respiratory tract (breathing tubes). It is known as whooping cough because of the "whooping" sound that people make when gasping for air after a fit of coughing.
Whooping cough is very contagious. It is spread by sneezing and coughing.
It is generally treated with antibiotics, which are used to control the symptoms and to prevent infected people from spreading the disease.
Both adults and children should be vaccinated. Visit the Immunizations page to learn more.
Childhood immunizations are available from family physicians and public health nurses. Grade 9 boosters are given in school-based clinics by public health nurses. You can also get vaccinated at a local pharmacy or health care centre.
For more information, talk to your family doctor or other health care provider. Or contact HealthLink BC for free by calling 8-1-1 or visiting the HealthLink BC website.
Visit the Communicable disease control page or the Child care facilities page.