Pertussis at CSUN: What You Should Know

December 12, 2019

Pertussis is a contagious disease that can spread when a person coughs or sneezes.  In a few people, especially infants and very young children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems, the illness can become more serious and lead to hospital stays or death.

If you have symptoms of a cold or cough, or believe you have been exposed to Pertussis, please contact the Klotz SHC at (818) 677-3666 or your family healthcare provider.  If you become ill, you should not come to class or campus until you are cleared by your doctor or the Klotz SHC.


The typical time it takes to get symptoms if you are infected is 10 days to 2 weeks, but may be as long as 3 to 5 weeks.  Some people who become infected with pertussis do not develop symptoms at all, but symptoms in teens and adults usually mimic a cold at first.  Some may go on to have coughing attacks lasting several seconds.  When the person catches their breath at the end of an attack, they may make a whooping sound, or vomit or choke.


Fortunately, most people infected do not become seriously ill, and pertussis can be treated with common antibiotics, typically for 5 days. More serious cases may require hospitalization.


The best way to prevent pertussis is to get vaccinated with the Tdap vaccine.

  • CSUN students can contact the Klotz SHC for appointments at 818-677-3666, Option 1.  Students under the age of 19, without insurance, who are eligible for the Vaccines for Children program can be vaccinated for free at the Klotz SHC.
  • The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) can also provide no-cost and low-cost vaccination:

More Information

For more information on Pertussis:

If you have additional questions or concerns you can call the Klotz SHC or LACDPH - Public Health Nurse Lourdes Gonzalez at 661-287-7041 during regular business hours.