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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Pertussis: Prevention & Expectations
      Category : Health Centers > Respiratory System (Lungs and Breathing)


Alternate Names : Whooping Cough

Pertussis | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What can be done to prevent the infection?

The pertussis vaccine prevents infection with Bordetella pertussis in almost all cases. Common side effects of the vaccine are fever and redness, swelling, and pain at the site of the injection. These side effects are less common when the acellular vaccine is used. Rare side effects include an allergic reaction and febrile seizures.

A person in close contact with an individual with pertussis should take antibiotics to prevent the disease. This is true even for persons who have been vaccinated, because the vaccine is not 100% effective.

What are the long-term effects of the infection?

For months afterward, even a mild upper respiratory infection, such as a cold, can cause prolonged coughing spells.

What are the risks to others?

Pertussis can be spread to those who have not been immunized, through respiratory secretions of an infected person. Erythromycin may be prescribed for family members, particularly those under 2 years old. The pertussis vaccine is the best method of preventing risks to others.

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Pertussis: Diagnosis & Tests


Pertussis: Treatment & Monitoring

Author: John Wegmann, MD
Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
Date Reviewed: 09/04/01

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