How is the course of pertussis (whooping cough) characterized in older children, adolescents, and adults?

Updated: May 02, 2019
  • Author: Joseph J Bocka, MD; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Answer

Older children, adolescents, and adults often have mild or atypical illness. Approximately one half of adolescents with pertussis cough for 10 weeks or longer. Complications among adolescents and adults include syncope, sleep disturbance, incontinence, rib fractures, and pneumonia. Seizures occur in 0.3-0.6% of adults.


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