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 will require a nose or throat culture test along with blood tests and chest X-ray to diagnose the condition.
HOW IS PERTUSSIS TREATED?
Treatment of Pertussis for infants requires hospitalization. For older children and adults, treatment can be carried out at home. Antibiotics are given for treating the infection. Family members of the affected patient may be given preventive antibiotics. Over the counter cough suppressants are ineffective for treating Pertussis
DID YOU KNOW?
Pertussis is highly contagious, so infants with the disease are hospitalized for treatment