Bordetella pertussis

Precautions

Droplet / Contact Precautions
Droplet / Contact Precautions

General Information

Gram-negative coccobacilli.

Attach to the cilia of the respiratory epithelial cells, and release toxins.

Commonly known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease that spreads from person-to-person. Increasing incidence in pre-teen and teenage years.

Symptoms usually develop within 5-10 days and can last up to 10 weeks or more.

There are 3 stages of illness:

  • Catarrhal: 1-2 weeks mild symptoms; recommended to administer a course of treatment within 3 weeks of exposure.

  • Paroxysmal: 1-6 weeks; may increase in frequency and severity.

  • Convalescent: 2-6 weeks or months; treatment used to prevent transmission."

  • Pneumonia

  • Apnea

  • Seizures

  • Encephalopathy

PCR or culture on special media for testing.

Vaccines are recommended for all ages to help protect against whooping cough.

  • DTaP: children 2 months through 6 years of age; five shots.

  • Tdap: 11 years or older and adults; should get a shot every 10 years.

  • Tdap: pregnant women during each pregnancy, with preferred early administration during 27-36 weeks.

CDC. Pertussis (Whooping Cough). October 25, 2019. https://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/clinical/disease-specifics.html

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