Whooping cough. Caused by the bacteria bordetella pertussis. There are antibiotics that can hasten the resolution, but the best strategy is prevention by getting your pertussis vaccination (usually in the form of dtap for kids, or tap for adults). Pertussis is making a comeback, thanks to those who say vaccines are an unnecessary conspiracy. Babies have died in outbreaks. http://www.cdph.ca.gov/pages/nr.
Meds only preventive. Most of the symptoms are caused by a chemical toxin produced by the bacteria, not the bacteria itself. Therefore, antibiotics won't alter a well-established case - killing the germ won't get rid of the toxin. If used after exposure, but before symptoms, illness will be prevented. The best preventive measures: immunization & avoidance of people with bad cough! it is very underdiagnosed.