Whooping cough, also called pertussis, is a highly contagious disease caused by the Bordetella pertussis bacterium. Characterized by severe coughing fits, whooping cough can lead to pneumonia, convulsions, encephalopathy, and, in rare cases, death. Since most infections occur in unvaccinated infants and children, vaccination is recommended for this highly contagious disease for infants starting at 2 months of age, with booster shots throughout childhood. Although whooping cough is more common in undeveloped nations, it is on the rise in the United States, with more than 15,000 cases in the country in 2006 compared to 1,000 in 1976. Whooping Cough explores both the historical and epidemiological aspects of this disease as well as its biology, providing information on its prevalence, treatment, vaccination, and prevention.
- What Is Whooping Cough?
- The History of Whooping Cough
- The Biology of Whooping Cough
- The Toxins of Bordetella Pertussis
- Treatment of Whooping Cough
- Prevention of Whooping Cough
- Future Prospects and Concerns.
Full-color photographs and illustrations. Sidebars. Further reading. References. Endnotes. Glossary. Web sites. Index.
About the Author(s)
Patrick G. Guilfoile, Ph.D., earned his doctorate in bacteriology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He subsequently did postdoctoral research at that institution, as well as at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is an associate dean and professor of biology at Bemidji State University in Minnesota. His most recent research has focused on the molecular genetics of ticks and other parasites. He has authored or coauthored more than 20 papers in scientific and biology education journals. He has also written four other books in Chelsea House's Deadly Diseases and Epidemics series: Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, Chicken Pox, Tetanus, and Diphtheria.
Foreword by David Heymann, World Health Organization