Pertussis, a respiratory illness commonly known as whooping cough, is a very contagious disease caused by a type of bacteria called Bordetella pertussis. These bacteria attach to the cilia (tiny, hair-like extensions) that line part of the upper respiratory system. The bacteria release toxins (poisons), which damage the cilia and cause airways to swell. Infected people are most contagious up to about 2 weeks after the cough begins. Antibiotics may shorten the amount of time someone is contagious.
HOW IS PERTUSSIS DIAGNOSED?
A General Physician diagnoses Pertussis by taking a swab of mucus from the back of the throat or nose and often conducts a blood test.
HOW IS PERTUSSIS TREATED?
Treatment is commonly done using erythromycin, clarithromycin, or azithromycin and other similar antibiotics. In most cases, the patient is also suggested home remedies and complete bed rest to prevent contamination and harm to others.
DID YOU KNOW?
There is a standard vaccine for the disease. Hence, the condition primarily occurs in children to young to have completed the full course of vaccinations and teenagers and adults whose immunity has faded.