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Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

Whooping cough (pertussis) is a highly infectious disease that is spread by coughing and sneezing. It’s caused by bacteria which damage the breathing tubes. Whooping cough can be very serious for babies and children – especially those under 1 year old.  Immunisation is the best way to prevent whooping cough.

New Zealand periodically experiences whooping cough outbreaks. The most recent outbreak started in 2011 and continued through to 2013.  Whooping cough continues to circulate in the community between outbreaks and occasional cases are still being reported.

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