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How to prevent whooping cough?

Page last updated 03 July 2018

Whooping cough can be prevented. 

The best way to prevent whooping cough is to get vaccinated. In Australia, the vaccination is given free via the National Immunisation Program to infants, children, adolescents and other adult groups. The vaccination is a combination vaccine which protects against other diseases. Talk to your healthcare professional about which one is suitable for you. 

In addition to vaccination, practicing good hygiene habits will help you reduce the risk of getting sick.  

  • Avoid people who are sick or unwell
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Use an alcohol-based hand rub if soap and water are not available
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Put your used tissue in the waste basket.
  • Cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands, if you don’t have a tissue.

Sources & Citations

  1. NHMRC. The Australian Immunisation Handbook. 2013; 10th edition: Pertussis: 302 – 316. Available at: [last viewed 14 May 2018]home~handbook10part4~handbook10-4-12
  2. Australian Government Department of Health, Immunise Australia Program: Pertussis (Whooping Cough). Available at: [last viewed 14 May 2018]

SPANZ.SAPAS.18.04.0136a - Date of preparation May 2018