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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms



pertussis  listen  (per-TUH-sis)

  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.