What are the symptoms of the paroxysmal phase (stage 2) pertussis (whooping cough)?

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

Patients in the second (paroxysmal) phase present with paroxysms of intense coughing lasting up to several minutes. In older infants and toddlers, the paroxysms of coughing occasionally are followed by a loud whoop as inspired air goes through a still partially closed airway. Infants younger than 6 months do not have the characteristic whoop but may have apneic episodes and are at risk for exhaustion. Posttussive vomiting and turning red with coughing are common in affected children.


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