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Pertussis

Mary Cataletto, MD, FAAP, FCCP and Margaret J. McCormick, MS, RN, CNE Reviewed 06/2019
 


BASICS

  • Highly contagious

  • Synonym: whooping cough, “100 day” cough

DESCRIPTION

  • Host: humans

  • Most common reservoir: adults

  • Ages: all

  • Distribution: worldwide

  • Pattern: endemic or epidemic with outbreaks every 3 ...

DIAGNOSIS

HISTORY

  • Exposure to pertussis

  • Insidious onset

  • Incubation period 7 to 10 days (ranges 5 to 21 days)

PHYSICAL EXAM

  • Classic pertussis has three phases, which occur over 6 to 10 weeks:

    • Catarrhal phase...

TREATMENT

GENERAL MEASURES

Waiting rooms, during transport, and procedures: Patients with suspected pertussis should wear masks. 

MEDICATION

  • Start empiric antibiotic therapy once diagnostic testing is pe...

ONGOING CARE

Supportive 

FOLLOW-UP RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Monitor infants who received EES or azithromycin for pyloric stenosis.

  • Neurologic and/or pulmonary follow-up as necessary

Patient Monitoring

ICU care may ...

REFERENCES

1
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Pertussis: fast facts. https://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/fast-facts.html. Accessed August 1, 2018. https://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/fast-facts.html. Ac...

ADDITIONAL READING

CODES

ICD10

  • A37.90 Whooping cough, unspecified species without pneumonia

  • A37.80 Whooping cough due to other Bordetella species w/o pneumonia

  • A37.10 Whooping cough due to Bordetella parapertussis w/o pneu...

CLINICAL PEARLS

  • Hospitalizations for pertussis is highest in infants <6 months of age.

    • Maternal Tdap is effective in protecting young infants against pertussis, especially during first 2 months of l...

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