Modern Medicine

How many people are infected every year with whooping cough?
Answered by Discovery Fit & Health
  • Discovery Fit & Health

    Discovery Fit & Health

  1. Pertussis, the medical name for whooping cough, is characterized by coughing spells that can last for more than a minute. Severe coughing jags - - causing the "whooping" sound in pertussis's informal name - - can actually cut off the brain's oxygen supply. Pertussis is a highly contagious respiratory disease that can infect anyone. However, infants up to one year old are most susceptible because they haven't yet been vaccinated for it. The first pertussis vaccine was developed in 1933, but adolescents and adults who get vaccinated as children become susceptible to the disease once the initial vaccination wears off and isn't followed up with booster shots. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that no more than 20 people a year die from pertussis in the U.S. However, the disease is much deadlier outside American borders, with approximately 50 million people worldwide being infected every year and 294,000 dying.

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