Diphtheria is a bacterial infection that infects the throat and nose and can form a membrane that restricts the flow of air into the lungs.
Tetanus is a bacterial infection that is introduced into the body via a deep and dirty cut in the skin. As the bacteria grow, they produce a toxin that affects the nerves, blocking certain signals to the muscles. This leads to muscle spasms, including those of the jaw. This is where the common name for tetanus, “lockjaw,” originated.
Pertussis, or whooping cough, is a bacterial respiratory infection associated with a severe cough.
The coughs are often batched together and can last for over thirty seconds. By the end of the batch of coughs, the infected person gasps for breath and makes a characteristic “whoop” in order to get oxygen into his or her lungs.
In infants, the whoop might be missing, but the baby temporarily stops breathing for several seconds.