How do I take care of someone with pertussis? What's the best way to take care of and attenuate the symptoms of someone who has whooping cough?
Patient care. Make sure you have had immunization against whooping cough. Wear a mask when working with the patient. Offer symptomatic care in the form of fluids. Make sure the patient is gettin plenty of steam inhalation and is properly hydrated. Wash hands with soap and water after contact with patient.
Whooping. Whooping cough, or pertussis, is caused by the airborne transmission of bacteria to the respiratory tract. Early treatment of the disease is important in lessening the severity of the disease as well as in preventing further transmission to contacts. Unfortunately whooping cough, especially in adults, is often not diagnosed until much later in the disease course because it is misconceived that previously vaccinated individuals cannot be infected. In fact, previously vaccinated adults often have atypical symptoms that are difficult to attribute specifically to pertussis. Several different common antibiotics are available for the treatment of pertussis. Treatment with the antibiotic Azithromycin is recommended for symptoms that have developed within two weeks of presentation, and as mentioned earlier can decrease symptom duration and severity. There are no other proven medications that can attenuate coughing during pertussis infections; however, steroids, cough suppressants and inhaled medications such as albuterol have been tried.