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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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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