Daptacel (Diptheria and Tetanus Toxoids and Acellular Pertussis Vaccine Absorbed

How Do I Know If My Baby Has Pertussis?

Learn how to recognize the stages and symptoms of pertussis

Caused by a build up of the Bordetella Pertussis bacterium in the nose and throat (as well as the cilia of the respiratory system), pertussis and whooping cough symptoms follow a clinical course that can be divided into 3 stages:

Catarrhal – Stage 1

This is the most contagious stage and occurs before the actual "whoop" begins. During this time a child will have cold- or flu-like symptoms, such as a runny nose, sneezing, mild fever, and a mild cough. These symptoms generally last 1 to 2 weeks.1,2

Paroxysmal – Stage 2

Pertussis is most easily recognized during this stage, because this is when the classic "whooping cough" is heard. The cough usually produces a thick, glue-like mucus, which makes it very hard for infants and young children to eat, drink, and breathe. A child's lips and nails may turn blue due to lack of oxygen. The child may also experience vomiting and gagging episodes after the coughing spells; this can often leave the child completely exhausted. This stage of pertussis can last for 4 to 6 weeks.

"Pertussis is most contagious during the first weeks of infection, before the severe coughing begins." 1,2

Convalescent – Stage 3

This is the stage when the child starts to get better. The cough and other symptoms gradually get milder and eventually go away. However, this recovery stage can last several weeks to several months.1,2

Remember, when it comes to pertussis, prevention is the best medicine. Make an appointment with your child's doctor today and ask about DAPTACEL vaccine.

Get more information:

Listen to the cough. How do I know if my baby has Pertussis? How is Pertussis spread? What complications can Pertussis cause? The 10 Things Every Mom Should Know About Pertussis

1. Edwards KM, Decker MD, Mortimer EA Jr. Pertussis vaccine. In: Plotkin SA, Orenstein WA, eds. Vaccines. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: WB Saunders Co; 1999:293-344.
2. Scott PT, Clark JB, Miser WF. Pertussis: an update on primary prevention and outbreak control. Am Fam Physician. 1997;56:1121-1128.


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Safety Information

DAPTACEL® (Diphtheria and Tetanus Toxoids and Acellular Pertussis Vaccine Adsorbed) is a vaccine given to infants and children 6 weeks through 6 years (prior to 7th birthday) to prevent 3 serious diseases: diphtheria, tetanus (lockjaw), and pertussis (whooping cough). As with any vaccine, vaccination with DAPTACEL vaccine may not protect 100% of individuals. There are risks associated with all vaccines. The most common side effects with DAPTACEL vaccine are redness, swelling, and soreness or tenderness where the injection was given; fever, fussiness, and crying more than usual. Other side effects may occur. DAPTACEL vaccine should not be given to children who, after a previous dose of the vaccine, have had a serious allergic reaction (anaphylactic reaction) or encephalopathy not attributable to another cause.

For more information about DAPTACEL vaccine, refer to the Patient Information on DAPTACEL.com and talk to your child's health-care provider.