Complications in teens and adults can include weight loss and inability to control urine. Rarely, fainting or rib fractures can occur from severe coughing.
The doctor will ask about symptoms and past health. A physical exam will be done. The doctor may suspect pertussis based on symptoms. A swab from nose, throat, or blood may be tested to confirm the results.
Treatment may include:
Pertussis is treated with antibiotics. This also keeps the infection from spreading. Antibiotics are most effective when started in the early stages. They will usually not improve the symptoms or otherwise affect the illness.
Treatment of Symptoms
Antibiotics or cough medicine will not prevent coughing. The following steps may help control symptoms and prevent problems:
Plenty of rest.
Cool mist vaporizer to loosen mucus and soothe the respiratory tract.
Avoid irritants that trigger coughing, such as smoke or aerosol sprays.
Plenty of fluids.
Those with severe infections may need hospital care. People with pertussis are usually isolated to prevent spreading the disease to others.
The best way to prevent pertussis is with a vaccine. Most children should receive the DTaP
series. This protects against
tetanus, and pertussis. Another vaccine called Tdap is routinely given to children aged 11 to 12 after they have completed the DTaP series of shots. There are also catch-up schedules for children and adults who have not been fully vaccinated. Td or Tdap boosters are given to adults every 10 years.
Pregnant women should have a dose of Tdap during every pregnancy to protect newborns from pertussis.
People in close contact with someone with pertussis may be given antibiotics to prevent an infection. This is important in households with members at high risk for severe disease. Children under 1 year of age or people with weak immune systems have a higher risk of severe pertussis.
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