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Home >Information for Patients > Dictionary Index

Dictionary of Cancer Terms

View in Spanish: Tos ferina

Pertussis (per-TUH-sus)
A serious bacterial infection of the lungs and breathing tubes that spreads easily. Pertussis 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 whooping cough.



 
 
Source: National Cancer Institute Dictionary of Cancer Terms, available at www.cancer.gov/dictionary.