Whooping cough (Pertussis)

Older adults may be at higher risk of complications due to whooping cough. If you're aged 65 years or older talk to your doctor about recommended preventative options, including vaccination.

*Influenza is also highly infectious and can cause serious illness in people of all ages

Like Flu, Whooping cough can quickly spread

Whooping cough is more infectious than flu and can be passed on to others for up to 3 weeks after symptoms first show.

Whooping cough can cause severe illness in babies, young children and older adults. Speak to your doctor about how to help protect yourself and those around you.


What are the symptoms of Whooping cough?

A simple line illustration hilighting the throat as the area affected by whooping cough.

It usually begins with an irritating cough

A simple line illustration hilighting the symptom of coughing.

And may gradually develop into repeated bouts of uncontrollable violent coughing that may lead to vomitting.

A graphic that indicates the three month period of time it may take to overcome whooping cough

Coughing can continue for up to 3 months and sleep is often affected

Download this PDF and take it with you to the doctor


Trish's story video thumbnail image.


Being diagnosed with whooping cough was a big surprise

Don’t think you’re at risk of whooping cough? Neither did Trish. Watch her story

Underdiagnoses of whooping cough in adults over 65 video thumbnail image.


Underdiagnosis of whooping cough in adults over 65

Dr. Brian Jarvie is a Sydney-based respiratory & sleep medicine specialist physician with experience treating respiratory diseases such as whooping cough (pertussis). Here he explains why a whooping cough diagnosis can be missed in older adults.

The good news about whooping cough video thumbnail image.


The good news about whooping cough

Learn what you and your family can do to reduce the chances of whooping cough infection


1. Karki S et al. Vaccine 2015;33(42):5647-53

2. Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI). Australian Inmmunisation Handbook, Australian Government Department of Health, Canberra, 2018, immunisationhandbook.health.gov.au