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What are the defining features of whooping cough, so I can tell it apart from other coughs?

2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ronda Alexander
ENT - Head & Neck Surgery
1 doctor agrees

In brief: The 'whoop'

Whooping cough is diagnosed formally by testing for the bacterium that causes it.
Most of us know it, however, from the funky cough it causes. After a bunch of coughing, there's a sharp inhalation of breath that sounds like 'whoooop'. The sound comes from air moving quickly through a swollen, narrowed airway. If you think you or someone you know has it, get to a doctor as soon as you can.

In brief: The 'whoop'

Whooping cough is diagnosed formally by testing for the bacterium that causes it.
Most of us know it, however, from the funky cough it causes. After a bunch of coughing, there's a sharp inhalation of breath that sounds like 'whoooop'. The sound comes from air moving quickly through a swollen, narrowed airway. If you think you or someone you know has it, get to a doctor as soon as you can.
Dr. Ronda Alexander
Dr. Ronda Alexander
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