Pertussis (whooping cough): treatment

How is pertussis diagnosed? What is the treatment?

Diagnosing pertussis

Only your health care provider can diagnose pertussis using laboratory test results and examining your physical symptoms. See your doctor early if you suspect you may have pertussis since early treatment is more effective. Your health care provider must report all cases of pertussis to your local health authority.

If you are not sure that you have pertussis, stay away from young children and infants. If you are not getting treatment, avoid contact with others. Stay isolated for three weeks after your cough started, or until your cough ends, whichever comes first.

If you have pertussis, make sure the people you are in contact with are fully immunized against pertussis. If they are not immunized, they should see their health care provider if they get sick. Not everyone may have received all their recommended vaccines, especially young babies.

Treating pertussis

Pertussis is usually treated with antibiotics. Keep away from children and infants until you take at least five days' worth of antibiotics.

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