Owing to the atypical presentation of symptoms in this population, proper prevention and treatment are particularly important to reduce the risk of transmission to young children and infants. Treatment of pertussis involves the use of antimicrobial therapy, particularly macrolide antibiotics. Infection prevention in adults is managed through scheduled vaccination with tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid, and acellular pertussis Tdap. Pharmacists are accessible sources of immunization education and administration, and they can impact infection outcome in patients through timely referrals for antimicrobial treatment and education regarding treatment options and expected outcomes.
Go back to Patient Education Resources. It can be especially serious and even fatal for infants. Unfortunately, many people who spread it may not know they have it. Infection can occur throughout the year, but in North America, its activity peaks in summer and fall. It most commonly occurs in preschool and school-age children but can occur at any age. The illness typically starts 7 to 10 days after being exposed to an infected person.
Whooping cough pertussis is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection. In many people, it's marked by a severe hacking cough followed by a high-pitched intake of breath that sounds like "whoop. Before the vaccine was developed, whooping cough was considered a childhood disease. Now whooping cough primarily affects children too young to have completed the full course of vaccinations and teenagers and adults whose immunity has faded.
This big cough starts out small with bacteria called Bordetella pertussis. Anyone exposed to the bacteria can get sick. A whoop sound may occur between coughing fits as the patient tries to take in breaths. Click to listen.