Although pertussis can be divided into three stages for discussion, a clinically distinct syndrome does not evolve until the disease has progressed to the second stage. Initially the symptoms mimic a viral URI.
The fatality rate for pertussis is approximately 1% for patients in the first month of life and 0.3% for those between age 2 and 12 months. Complications often occur during a bout of pertussis.
Children in the U.S. are routinely vaccinated for pertussis, but the disease is rising again, especially in infants who have not completed the series of vaccinations and in teens whose immunity has worn off.
It is spread through droplets coughed or sneezed into the air. It is a highly contagious disease. Adults with a mild form can infect people who have not yet been vaccinated.
Antibiotics are used to treat whooping cough. They are most helpful when started during the first stage of the disease. When taken early antibiotics can help with symptoms.
The best way to protect yourself and your family from getting sick is to get vaccinated. Because the vaccine wears off with time, everyone needs booster shots.
The disease pertussis has two stages. The first stage, colonization, is an upper respiratory disease with fever, malaise and coughing, which increases in intensity over about a 10-day period. The second or toxemic stage of pertussis follows relatively nonspecific symptoms of the colonizaton stage.
Whooping cough (pertussis) is caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis. B. pertussis is a very small Gram-negative aerobic coccobacillus that appears singly or in pairs.
The childhood vaccine is called DTaP. The whooping cough booster vaccine for adolescents and adults is called Tdap. Both protect against whooping cough, tetanus, and diphtheria.
Whooping cough — known medically as pertussis — is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection. Although it initially resembles an ordinary cold, whooping cough may eventually turn more serious, particularly in infants. The best way to prevent it is through vaccinations.