7 doctors weighed in:
What causes the whooping in whooping cough?
7 doctors weighed in

Dr. Bradley Berg
Pediatrics
2 doctors agree
In brief: Can't catch breath
When a child has whooping cough he starts to cough and can't stop.
As he continues to cough he loses his breath and when he finally stops coughing he takes a deep breath very fast. Since his throat is very small, the large amount of air moving very fast through the small airway creates a "whoop".

In brief: Can't catch breath
When a child has whooping cough he starts to cough and can't stop.
As he continues to cough he loses his breath and when he finally stops coughing he takes a deep breath very fast. Since his throat is very small, the large amount of air moving very fast through the small airway creates a "whoop".
Dr. Bradley Berg
Dr. Bradley Berg
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Dr. Cory Annis
Internal Medicine & Pediatrics
In brief: Tiny pipe/big breath
The cough in whooping cough empties the lungs of air so completely that the breathe a child finally takes is huge, fast and forced over a tiny swollen airway.
That's what makes it so loud.

In brief: Tiny pipe/big breath
The cough in whooping cough empties the lungs of air so completely that the breathe a child finally takes is huge, fast and forced over a tiny swollen airway.
That's what makes it so loud.
Dr. Cory Annis
Dr. Cory Annis
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Dr. Paul Trani
Pediatrics
In brief: Hypoxia
The 'whoop' in whooping cough is a forceful inhalation of air after a prolonged paroxysm of cough, often lasting longer than 120 sec.
This coughing attack is severe, and can often result in not only hypoxia and apnea, but intra-ocular hemorrhage, abdominal or chest wall muscular sprains, and intercostal injuries. Imagine the first breath that you'd take after choking for 2 min. That's a 'whoop'.

In brief: Hypoxia
The 'whoop' in whooping cough is a forceful inhalation of air after a prolonged paroxysm of cough, often lasting longer than 120 sec.
This coughing attack is severe, and can often result in not only hypoxia and apnea, but intra-ocular hemorrhage, abdominal or chest wall muscular sprains, and intercostal injuries. Imagine the first breath that you'd take after choking for 2 min. That's a 'whoop'.
Dr. Paul Trani
Dr. Paul Trani
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Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics
In brief: Inhaling strongly
After a coughing and coughing, a child will try to catch his breath by breathing in strongly.
This forceful inhalation makes a whooping sound. Babies under 6 months may not whoop even if they have pertussis infection.

In brief: Inhaling strongly
After a coughing and coughing, a child will try to catch his breath by breathing in strongly.
This forceful inhalation makes a whooping sound. Babies under 6 months may not whoop even if they have pertussis infection.
Dr. Robert Kwok
Dr. Robert Kwok
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Dr. Scott Katz
Pediatrics
In brief: A sudden breath
Whooping cough is a potentially fatal but vaccine preventable illness, that is unfortuntunately becoming more commeon due to lower vaccination rates.
The whoop is a very alarming sound, that occurs when the person is suddenly able to take a deep breath after a severe coughing fit, also known as a paroxysm. Older patients may actually feel as if they are suffocating during an attack.

In brief: A sudden breath
Whooping cough is a potentially fatal but vaccine preventable illness, that is unfortuntunately becoming more commeon due to lower vaccination rates.
The whoop is a very alarming sound, that occurs when the person is suddenly able to take a deep breath after a severe coughing fit, also known as a paroxysm. Older patients may actually feel as if they are suffocating during an attack.
Dr. Scott Katz
Dr. Scott Katz
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