whooping cough

Definition / meaning of whooping cough

A serious bacterial infection of the lungs and breathing tubes that spreads easily. Whooping cough begins like a cold, but develops into severe coughing and gasping for air. Long spells of coughing may cause vomiting, and broken blood vessels in the eyes and on the skin. Also called pertussis.

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Source(s):

The Web site of the National Cancer Institute (http://www.cancer.gov/)

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