There has been a recent increase in reports of pertussis (whooping cough) in NSW. Pertussis typically begins with a runny nose, sore eyes, malaise and low-grade fever, and evolves into classic whooping cough. Coughing occurs
in paroxysms that include short expiratory bursts followed by an inspiratory gasp that can result in the typical whoop. The disease is most severe in small children. Some of the symptoms may be absent, especially in older cases.
Pertussis is most infectious early in the disease, spread by aerosol droplets from infected children or adults. Diagnosis depends on clinical suspicion, and laboratory isolation of Bordetella pertussis by nasopharyngeal culture, or
antibodies in persons with symptoms.