Erina High School

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Whooping Cough

Contracting Whooping Cough

Coughing spreads the infection to others nearby. Whooping cough that is caught at school can spread to any younger brothers and sisters at home. Whooping cough can be especially dangerous for babies.


Whooping cough starts like a cold and progresses to bouts of coughing that can last for many weeks. Older children may just have a cough that is persistent and is worse at night. The infection can occur even in fully-vaccinated children.

  • Children with symptoms should see a GP.
  • If your doctor diagnoses whooping cough, please let the school know and keep your child home until they have taken 5 days of antibiotics.
  • Whooping cough vaccines give good protection against infection but immunity fades. If your school-aged child has younger siblings, it's a good idea to check that they are up to date with their vaccines.

Protect Your Child

By immunising older children with boosters at 4 years of age and in high school, you give them some protection against whooping cough. This also helps to stop it spreading to others.

Check if your child has been vaccinated. Look at their Blue Book, speak to your GP or ring the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register on 1800 653 809. You can also check the register online.

Remember that even immunised children can sometimes catch whooping cough, but their illness is often milder.