Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is a highly contagious bacterial infection that affects the respiratory system of children. It is caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis and can be spread through coughing or sneezing. Symptoms of whooping cough include a severe, dry hacking cough followed by a loud “whoop” sound when breathing in after coughing. Other symptoms include difficulty breathing, vomiting after coughing fits, and exhaustion. Whooping cough can be serious for young children and infants, as it can cause pneumonia or even death in some cases. It is important to take precautions to protect your child from this potentially deadly infection by getting them vaccinated and keeping up with their booster shots.