Pertussis pneumonia in a young infant is often fatal as it can easily be misdiagnosed and because infants have weak immune systems before they receive routine infant immunization. The so called "whooping cough" pneumonia can cause respiratory distress, hypoxemia, and disease progression leading to increased morbidity or mortality. Herein, we report the case of a 21-day-old female newborn who presented with poor intake and cyanosis with mild cough and nasal stuffiness. After admission, her cough worsened and was accompanied by persistent hypoxemia and vomiting after oral feeding. Pertussis pneumonia was considered on the fourth day of hospitalization, and Bordetella pertussis was diagnosed by DNA analysis on the sixth day of hospitalization. The patient was immediately given azithromycin and her general condition gradually improved, and she was discharged after a total hospitalization of 16 days. A nasopharyngeal swab for pertussis from her mother was positive. We suggest that all pregnant women should receive pertussis vaccinations in the third trimester of pregnancy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-90
Number of pages4
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Bordetella pertussis
  • hypoxemia
  • cyanosis
  • pneumonia


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