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Pertussis: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Pertussis: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Pertussis: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory illness caused by the bacteria Bordetella pertussis. Only humans are affected by the disease. The bacteria that cause whooping cough attach to the cilia (tiny, hair-like extensions that line the upper respiratory system).


Whooping cough can start like a common cold, but unlike a cold, it can last for weeks or months.

Whooping cough symptoms usually appear 5 to 10 days after coming into contact with the bacteria that causes it. Symptoms may not appear for up to three weeks.

● Runny nose

● Nasal congestion

● Red, watery eyes

● Fever

● Cough


Signs and symptoms worsen after a week or two. Thick mucus builds up inside your airways, resulting in uncontrollable coughing. Coughing attacks that are severe and prolonged may:

● Induce vomiting

● As a result, you will have a red or blue face.

● Excessive fatigue

● Finish with a high-pitched “whoop” sound during the next inhalation.

However, Many people do not develop the characteristic whoop. A persistent hacking cough is sometimes the only sign that an adolescent or adult has whooping cough.

Infants may not cough at all. Instead, they may struggle to breathe or even stop breathing for a short period of time.




Bordetella pertussis is the bacteria that causes whooping cough. When a person who is infected coughs or sneezes, tiny germ-laden droplets are sprayed into the air and breathed into the lungs of anyone who is nearby.


Antibiotics are typically used to treat whooping cough. To treat whooping cough, several antibiotics are available.

It is critical to treat whooping cough as soon as possible before coughing fits begin. Early treatment of whooping cough can help.

● Reduce the severity of the illness

● Assist in preventing the bacteria that causes it from spreading to others.

Even though most people will still have symptoms after three weeks, starting treatment is unlikely to help. By then, your body had rid itself of the bacteria, but the symptoms remained due to the damage done to your body.



Our pharmacists are prepared to write prescriptions for a wide range of clinical conditions. Please contact us if you require a prescription in an emergency. Pharmacist prescribing improves patient care by increasing access to care and allowing pharmacists to practice to the full scope of their license.