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Whooping Cough (Pertussis)

* Designated Reportable Disease

This is intended as a general guide. Consult a health care provider for diagnosis and for recommendations or advice. Notify the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit if there is a higher than usual number of cases of any disease. To report a case of Whooping Cough, use the Reportable Disease Form or call a public health nurse or public health inspector on the Infectious Disease team at 1-800-660-5853. This disease is vaccine preventable.

How it Spreads

Sharing close airspace (less than 1 meter).

Contact with secretions from the nose or mouth of an infected person (i.e. sneezing, coughing).

Incubation period *6–20 days.

* Incubation period = Time between contact with disease and start of symptom.

How to Recognize

Respiratory symptoms followed by persistent repetitive cough ending in gagging/vomiting (may or may not have characteristic “whoop”); fever is mild or absent, runny nose.

When it is Contagious

Up to 21 days after symptoms begin if not treated.

Note: most contagious during the first 2 weeks when symptoms resemble a common cold.

When to Report/Exclude

Report to the Health Unit immediately.

Exclude from childcare or school until infected person has had 5 full days of antibiotic treatment – if no antibiotic treatment is used exclude for 3 weeks after the onset of cough.


Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

Canadian Pediatric Society

MOHLTC Infectious Diseases Protocol 2022