Whooping Cough

Pertussis, or whooping cough, is a very contagious bacterial infection and can last several months. The only effective treatment for pertussis after an exposure is the prompt use of antibiotics (before the cough develops). ($29)

What are some features of pertussis?

  • Caused by the bacteria bordetella pertussis
  • Spreads by coughing, sneezing or by touching objects contaminated with infected mucus
  • Initial symptoms are the same as any cold or flu illness
  • Children will often vomit after coughing or make a loud “whooping” sound while inhaling after a fit of coughing
  • Symptoms may include vomiting, passing out, broken ribs, hernias or other injuries
  • "100-day cough"
  • Extremely dangerous to infants and the elderly
  • Antibiotics are only effective within the first week of illness

How do I prevent whooping cough?

  • Vaccination (TdaP) is effective but immunity lessens over time
  • Wearing a mask if you have close contacts with pertussis
  • Prevention with medication such as azithromycin
    • Taken after exposure before you become ill
    • May prevent infection from developing
    • Should be taken by all household members and close contacts of persons diagnosed with Whooping Cough or Pertussis

What else should I know?

  • This treatment is intended for patients without symptoms who have been exposed to a known case of pertussis
  • Our online assessment will help determine if you are a good candidate for treatment
  • The recommended antibiotic is a five day course of azithromycin (Z-pak)
  • Timely treatment is the best way to prevent this disease after exposure
  • Occasionally, even with treatment, you may still develop this illness
  • Just answer a few questions to get started with your online visit

What happens next?

  • Create an MDAnywhere account. Required on your first visit only and can be completed at any time, even in advance
  • Complete your online visit by answering a few medical interview questions and providing your medical history
  • Remember, you do not need insurance or an appointment to complete your visit
  • Once these two steps are complete, a physician will review your entire visit and treatment request
  • Your treatment plan will be shared with you minutes after the physician reviews your request
  • You will be notified if there is any additional information needed
  • Remember to routinely check for new messages in your patient portal as this will expedite your care
  • You may message your doctor at any time after submitting your treatment request
  • Any necessary prescriptions or vaccine orders will be sent electronically to your pharmacy
  • A copy of any lab or vaccine orders can be sent directly to you for added convenience
  • If, at any point, online treatment is not recommended, you will not be charged
  • Rest assured, your private information will be protected, stored securely, and kept confidential

The information displayed on this page is for informational purposes only and is not medical opinion or advice.