Pertussis In Early Childhood

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During the 1900s the first epidemic of pertussis was noticed. It was a very common childhood illness. High rates of deaths were due to pertussis which is an acute infection of the respiratory tract. It was especially a serious disease in targeting infants due to their underdeveloped bodies. Around the 1940s a vaccination to prevent deaths caused by pertussis was invented and the rate of deaths lowered dramatically. However, recent cases of pertussis have been on the rise, and not only is it affecting infants and small children it is occuring in people who have been vaccinated and are ten years of age or older. When the first pertussis vaccine became available it was a whole-cell pertussis vaccine and was developed in the 1940s. It was in…show more content…
This is a huge problem, because such adults may unknowingly infect unvaccinated children. To know for sure, the health care provider may take a sample of mucus from the nose nasal secretions and send it to a lab, which tests it for pertussis. While this can offer an accurate diagnosis, the test some time, and treatment is usually started before the results are ready. Some patients may have a complete blood count that shows an elevation in numbers of…show more content…
The drug of choice is usually erythromycin for four times a day for ten days. This antibiotic should also be given for 14 days to all household and other close contacts of the patient to minimize transmission, regardless of age and vaccination status. Infants with severe cases should be hospitalized. All close contacts younger than seven years of age should complete their vaccine series of DTaP if they have not already done so. If they have completed their primary four dose series, but have not had a dose within the last three years, they should be given a booster dose. Children younger than 6 months are at particular risk because even with vaccination, protection is incomplete. Since cases of pertussis have been on the rise and reported in teens and adults, because their immunity has faded since their original vaccination. Individuals should be noticed of a booster shot to prevent the further spread of pertussis, especially to infants who have greater complications to pertussis and can lead to their demise if not treated on

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