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All about whooping cough (Pertussis) causes of whooping cough (Pertussis) symptoms of whooping cough diagnosis of whooping cough treatment for whooping cough prevention of whooping cough (pertussis)

What's the treatment for whooping cough?

In its early stages, the symptoms of whooping cough can be reduced by taking antibiotics. Antibiotics may shorten the duration of the symptoms if started early enough. Unfortunately, most patients are only diagnosed after the period of time when antibiotics are most effective, and so generally antibiotics are not used. When they are used, antibiotics include erythromycin and similar drugs, tetracyclines for teens and adults, and amoxicillin for newborns. Although antibiotics may

help shorten the course of the disease if they are given early in the first stage of illness, they may not be prescribed right away because initial symptoms of whooping cough usually are indistinguishable from those of the common cold. However, as symptoms progress they become more distinctive of whooping cough. At this point, antibiotics usually are given before laboratory tests have confirmed the diagnosis, which typically takes 10 to 14 days, because they can reduce the spread of infection. Family members and others who have had close contact with someone infected with whooping cough are sometimes prescribed antibiotics for coldlike symptoms or even before developing symptoms.
Infants, especially those younger than 4 months of age, are typically hospitalized. Hospitalization allows health professionals to ensure the baby is getting enough fluids and nutrients. Also, the baby is monitored and evaluated for how well he or she tolerates and recovers from coughing episodes. If needed, a baby also may receive oxygen therapy and have mucus suctioned from the nose and throat. Because suctioning mucus may trigger coughing spells, it is only done in specific situations. Infants under 18 months of age require constant supervision because breathing may temporarily stop during coughing spells. Infants with severe cases should be hospitalized. Severe coughing spells can significantly decrease the blood's oxygen supply. If blood oxygen levels, measured with a pulse oximeter, are low, oxygen may be given for a short time through a nasal cannula or an oxygen mask. An oxygen tent with high humidity may be used. Intravenous fluid may be necessary if coughing spells are severe enough to prevent the patient from drinking enough fluids. Sedatives may be prescribed for young children.

More information on whooping cough (Pertussis)

What is whooping cough (Pertussis)? - Whooping cough (pertussis) is a highly contagious bacterial infection of the upper respiratory system. The infection is spread through the air by droplets.
What causes whooping cough (Pertussis)? - Whooping cough is caused by a bacteria called Bordatella pertussis. Whooping cough can affect people of any age.
What're the symptoms of whooping cough (Pertussis)? - Symptoms of whooping begins with a cold and a mild cough. Severe coughing spells can lead to vomiting.
How is whooping cough diagnosed? - The most accurate method of diagnosis of whooping cough is to culture the organisms obtained from swabbing mucus out of the nasopharynx.
What is the treatment for whooping cough? - The symptoms of whooping cough can be treated with antibiotics including erythromycin, tetracyclines, amoxicillin.
How to prevent whooping cough (pertussis)? - A DTaP vaccine (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis) or pertussis-only vaccine helps protect children against whooping cough (pertussis).
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All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005,, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005