18 doctors weighed in:
Could my baby have whooping cough if he was exposed two weeks ago?
18 doctors weighed in

Dr. John Simpson
Pediatrics
6 doctors agree
In brief: Yes
Yes, symptoms of whooping cough develop after a typical incubation period of 7 to 10 days (range: 5 to 21 days).
Initially symptoms are similar to a common cold, but then progress to significant paroxysms of cough which are notable for an inspiratory "whoop". Symptoms slowly resolve over weeks. The classic illness generally lasts 6-10 weeks. Routine childhood immunization is the best protection.

In brief: Yes
Yes, symptoms of whooping cough develop after a typical incubation period of 7 to 10 days (range: 5 to 21 days).
Initially symptoms are similar to a common cold, but then progress to significant paroxysms of cough which are notable for an inspiratory "whoop". Symptoms slowly resolve over weeks. The classic illness generally lasts 6-10 weeks. Routine childhood immunization is the best protection.
Dr. John Simpson
Dr. John Simpson
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Dr. Scott Katz
Pediatrics
2 doctors agree
In brief: Yes
Absolutely. Unfortunately, in this day and age because more people are choosing not to vaccinate their child, life threatening diseases are returning.
Among these are whooping cough or pertussis (the p in the dtap vaccine). Even if your child has been vaccinated they could still contract the disease. Your child should be examined, tested and then treated pending the results of the test.

In brief: Yes
Absolutely. Unfortunately, in this day and age because more people are choosing not to vaccinate their child, life threatening diseases are returning.
Among these are whooping cough or pertussis (the p in the dtap vaccine). Even if your child has been vaccinated they could still contract the disease. Your child should be examined, tested and then treated pending the results of the test.
Dr. Scott Katz
Dr. Scott Katz
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Dr. Alan Greene
Pediatrics
2 doctors agree
In brief: Yes
The usual time from exposure to pertussis to becoming ill with whooping cough is 7-10 days, but can be as long as 21 days.

In brief: Yes
The usual time from exposure to pertussis to becoming ill with whooping cough is 7-10 days, but can be as long as 21 days.
Dr. Alan Greene
Dr. Alan Greene
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Dr. Cory Annis
Internal Medicine & Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Yes
Pertussis develops 5-21 days after exposure.
Infants 0-2 months have no immunity, even if mom is immune. Mom's antibody can't pass through placenta or breast milk & infants can't develop immunity from the vaccine earlier than 2 months, thus the timing of vaccine. The best protection is vaccinating the child, but if they are under 2 months, it's vaccinating of the adults around them using tdap.

In brief: Yes
Pertussis develops 5-21 days after exposure.
Infants 0-2 months have no immunity, even if mom is immune. Mom's antibody can't pass through placenta or breast milk & infants can't develop immunity from the vaccine earlier than 2 months, thus the timing of vaccine. The best protection is vaccinating the child, but if they are under 2 months, it's vaccinating of the adults around them using tdap.
Dr. Cory Annis
Dr. Cory Annis
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Dr. Arthur Torre
Pediatrics - Allergy & Asthma
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Yes
"whooping cough" typically begins with cold like symptoms a week after exposure.
Ten to twelve days later the severe cough may develop. Pertussis vaccine is fairly effective at preventing the disease, so make sure your baby and all those around him/her including the adults in the family are vaccinated to help prevent your baby from getting this illness.

In brief: Yes
"whooping cough" typically begins with cold like symptoms a week after exposure.
Ten to twelve days later the severe cough may develop. Pertussis vaccine is fairly effective at preventing the disease, so make sure your baby and all those around him/her including the adults in the family are vaccinated to help prevent your baby from getting this illness.
Dr. Arthur Torre
Dr. Arthur Torre
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Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Yes
Not very likely, but still is possible.
A 5 month old should have had 2 shots against pertussis (whooping cough) already, and would have some partial protection. If a baby was exposed 2 weeks ago and hasn't been around any ill persons since then, he becomes less likely to get sick as each day passes, because most babies get sick within 2 weeks. Parents must tell the doctor about the exposure.

In brief: Yes
Not very likely, but still is possible.
A 5 month old should have had 2 shots against pertussis (whooping cough) already, and would have some partial protection. If a baby was exposed 2 weeks ago and hasn't been around any ill persons since then, he becomes less likely to get sick as each day passes, because most babies get sick within 2 weeks. Parents must tell the doctor about the exposure.
Dr. Robert Kwok
Dr. Robert Kwok
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Dr. Kristen Stuppy
Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Yes
It is important to be properly evaluated and treated with pertussis to help prevent the spread.
Antibiotics must be started early in the course to stop the symptoms more quickly. If it is later in the illness, it is still important to take the antibiotics to stop the spread to others, but it does not alter the duration of the cough. Whooping cough is also called the 100 day cough!

In brief: Yes
It is important to be properly evaluated and treated with pertussis to help prevent the spread.
Antibiotics must be started early in the course to stop the symptoms more quickly. If it is later in the illness, it is still important to take the antibiotics to stop the spread to others, but it does not alter the duration of the cough. Whooping cough is also called the 100 day cough!
Dr. Kristen Stuppy
Dr. Kristen Stuppy
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Dr. Paul Trani
Pediatrics
In brief: Yes
The range of incubation period for whooping cough is between 4 and 21 days.
If your child has been exposed, it's best to make an appointment with your medical provider. Sadly, there is no medicine to prevent getting pertussis once you've been exposed - but vaccination can protect your baby if their vaccines are complete and up-to-date.

In brief: Yes
The range of incubation period for whooping cough is between 4 and 21 days.
If your child has been exposed, it's best to make an appointment with your medical provider. Sadly, there is no medicine to prevent getting pertussis once you've been exposed - but vaccination can protect your baby if their vaccines are complete and up-to-date.
Dr. Paul Trani
Dr. Paul Trani
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Dr. Kristen Stuppy
Pediatrics
In brief: Yes
Whooping cough is unfortunately still relatively common, despite the fact that it is preventable with vaccine.
It starts like an innocent cold about a week after exposure in kids/teens/adults, who spread it easily to others. The cough begins about 2 weeks later. Infants under 6 months do not get the whoop, they simply choke or stop breathing. Kids get a characteristic whoop with the cough.

In brief: Yes
Whooping cough is unfortunately still relatively common, despite the fact that it is preventable with vaccine.
It starts like an innocent cold about a week after exposure in kids/teens/adults, who spread it easily to others. The cough begins about 2 weeks later. Infants under 6 months do not get the whoop, they simply choke or stop breathing. Kids get a characteristic whoop with the cough.
Dr. Kristen Stuppy
Dr. Kristen Stuppy
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