In an attempt to determine the clinical severity and prognosis of children admitted to hospital with whooping cough, 127 patients were studied prospectively during a 12-month period. Clinical and laboratory criteria were used and the impression gained was that most cases were mild, although 3 children were dangerously ill and at least 30% had symptoms lasting 2 months or longer. There were no deaths, and no permanent sequelae were noted. The mean age of patients was higher than in other series, which might have accounted for the fairly low severity. Although there was some evidence of a decline in severity and mortality, whooping cough is still an unpleasant and protracted illness.
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