Children's Medical Center of Wisconsin pediatrician Dr. Lyn Ranta told WISN,
" The group that's most at risk are the children that are young. Those six months and younger who've either had no vaccines or are under vaccinated, those are the kids who die. They get serious pertussis. They cough so hard they can't breathe," but "pertussis for young children can prevented through a series of vaccinations generally administered before fifteen months of age."
Concerns over the safety of pertussis vaccinations cause more parents to forgo the precaution, according to the National Vaccine Information Center.
But after reviewing scientific evidence, the World Health Organization deemed the vaccinations safe.
According to the National Institutes of Health PubMed reference, the first whooping cough symptoms develop about a week after exposure to the bacteria and resemble those of a common cold, but severe coughing episodes (that produce the characteristic "whooping" gasp for a next breath, mostly in children over six months old) accompanied by a slight fever begin just over week later, and can include choking, vomitting and diarrhea.