Whooping cough is a highly contagious disease. Whooping cough can affect people of all ages but it is more serious for babies. Whooping cough can be prevented by immunisation.
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Healthcare providers diagnose pertussis whooping cough by considering if you have been exposed to pertussis and by doing a:. Figure 1: Proper technique for obtaining a nasopharyngeal specimen for isolation of Bordetella pertussis. Healthcare providers generally treat pertussis with antibiotics and early treatment is very important.
Pertussis, often called whooping cough, is caused by a bacterial infection. While infants have the greatest chance of getting whooping cough, the illness can be contracted at any age. In general, whooping cough starts off like a common cold.
Whooping cough, or pertussis, is very contagious and mainly affects infants and young children. The illness is characterized by coughing spells that end with a characteristic "whoop" as air is inhaled. Whooping cough caused thousands of deaths in the s and s.
Now about half of all the cases that occur in this country are among teens and adults. And treatment consists of a course of antibiotics. Teens and adults need to get the vaccine, too.
Diagnosing whooping cough in its early stages can be difficult because the signs and symptoms resemble those of other common respiratory illnesses, such as a cold, the flu or bronchitis. Sometimes, doctors can diagnose whooping cough simply by asking about symptoms and listening to the cough. Medical tests may be needed to confirm the diagnosis.
Early treatment of pertussis is very important. The earlier a person, especially an infant, starts treatment the better. If a patient starts treatment for pertussis early in the course of illness, during the first 1 to 2 weeks before coughing paroxysms occur, symptoms may be lessened.