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Introduction to the site from Dr Doug Jenkinson

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Quick self-diagnosis test

Introduction from Dr Doug Jenkinson

Symptoms (sounds and video)


Laboratory diagnosis



Who catches it?

How do you catch it?


A printout for your doctor


Send a comment to Dr J

Keyworth study of whooping cough

About Dr Doug Jenkinson

Sufferers' comments and experiences


Extra material


Dear Visitor

This is not a fancy website. The purpose is to be accurate and comprehensive.

Here you can select from the links on the left, the areas you are interested in. Most people go straight for the symptoms and the sound files. They are the most popular. There are also videos of whooping cough. From these pages you may decide that you possibly have whooping cough, and that may be enough for you.

The FAQ page is designed to answer most questions commonly asked.

The links on the left are on most pages,.

I welcome comments about your whooping cough, or the site, but I cannot usually respond, although I always read them. I particularly ask you to let me know if you think you have it (via the comment page).

You should read about who I am. As with all information, you need to know the source before deciding whether to believe it or not!

Surprising facts about whoopingcough/pertussis (W/P)

About 1 adult in 8 gets W/P infection every year, usually without knowing it, and it boosts immunity.

About 1 adult in 20 gets a coughing illness each year which is caused by W/P.
Some have the characteristic infrequent paroxysmal cough, which makes diagnosis easier, but many have less severe symptoms, often in addition to another infection such as a viral cold, or develop secondary infection with sputum that may disguise the W/P symptoms. 

Because W/P is always circulating in a largely unrecognised way, infants can only be effectively protected by giving a W/P (Tdap) booster in pregnancy.

W/P is much commoner in adults than children, contrarary to what most people think, but usually goes unrecognised. Therefore the only way to protect young babies, who can die or be disabled by it, is to have booster immunization in pregnancy which covers them until they have their own immunization.

The preventive effect of immunization with acellular vaccine wears off rapidly after about 2 years, but it still reduces the severity if you should catch it. Therefore it is still very worthwhile for the individual, and it provides excellent 'herd' immunity by reducing its ability to spread to others. The death rate in infants can only be kept low by having a very high percentage of the population follow the pertussis immunisation recommendations.