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Many infants who get pertussis must be hospitalized. In rare cases it can be life threatening. Some of the complications for young infants and children can include:
Your child should be seen by a doctor immediately if you think your child has pertussis or has been exposed to someone with pertussis or if he or she experiences any of the following warning signs:
In older children and adults, the disease is usually less serious, and complications are rare. The only sign of infection may be a bad cough that lasts longer than a week. Older members of a household may have pertussis without knowing it. This can be a serious risk to younger children and infants in the home who are unvaccinated, or who haven’t yet completed their full schedule of vaccinations.