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Tdap is a vaccine that can help protect against three serious diseases: tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough).

Whooping cough is caused by a type of bacteria called Bordetella pertussis, which attach to the lining of the respiratory tract.

Treatment for whooping cough is available; however, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the best way to help prevent whooping cough is vaccination.

The incubation period is commonly 7 to 10 days, with a range of 4-21 days. People are most infectious during the early stage of the disease and the first two weeks after the cough begins.

Infants too young to be vaccinated are most at risk for severe illness. Complications can include hospitalization, pneumonia, seizures, brain disorders, and, on very rare occasions, death.

Whooping cough is caused by a type of bacteria called Bordetella pertussis.