Pertusis, whooping cough, pertussis vaccine, parapertussis
Pertussis and Vaccination

The page started on 12/05/2011, Updated on 07/12/2014
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2012 Pertussis Update, IDPH
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About Pertussis and Parapertussis


"Pertussis is an endemic (common) disease in the United States, with periodic epidemics every 3 to 5 years and frequent outbreaks. In 2010, 27,550 cases of pertussis were reported—and many more cases go unreported." - CDC

"From January 1 to October 26, 2010, 59 cases of pertussis among Chicago residents were reported to the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH); 95% of these cases have been confirmed by PCR testing and 17 (29%) were hospitalized." - Communicable Disease Information, City of Chicago

"Illinois is seeing an increase in pertussis cases for 2011, and the northeastern portion of Illinois is seeing the largest amount of activity (1,019 cases)". - DHS-CSN <>

  What is...?
How severe?

Pertussis is a respiratory disease caused by the bacteria Bordetella pertussis and is best known for the characteristic “whooping” sound heard in some children as they breathe in. In adults, it causes violent coughing spells sometimes accompanied by vomiting. For more information about pertussis, please visit

"Pertussis (whooping cough) is very contagious and can cause serious illness―especially in infants too young to be fully vaccinated." - CDC

"Pertussis is most severe for babies; more than half of infants younger than 1 year of age who get the disease must be hospitalized. About 1 in 5 infants with pertussis get pneumonia (lung infection), and about 1 in 100 will have convulsions. In rare cases (1 in 100), pertussis can be deadly, especially in infants." - CDC

  In general, it causes an illness similar to pertussis, but is usually less severe.

How spreads?


By coughing or sneezing while in close contact with others

Same as pertussis
  Common symptoms?  

Common symptoms: runny nose, nasal congestion, nasal discharge, sneezing, cough, fever, or whooping. Severe cough with whooping sound after 1–2 weeks.

"Clinical case definition: A cough illness lasting at least 2 weeks with one of the following: paroxysms of coughing, inspiratory “whoop”, or post-tussive vomiting, and without other apparent cause.1" - CDInfo 2007

Similar to pertussis, but is usually less severe.
Nasopharyngeal swab or aspirate for the following tests on individuals suspected of having pertussis:
PCR testing: rapid results1-2 days, could has false positives
Culture: "Free pertussis test kits can be acquired by calling the IDPH Immunization Surveillance staff at (217) 785-1455. Specimens being sent to the IDPH laboratory for analysis should be sent overnight on dry ice." Reporting Cases to CDPH call (312) 746-5901, or fax reports to (312) 746-6388.- CD Info

Same as pertussis
  Treatment   Antibiotic therapy:
Azithromycin 5 days OR
Erythromycin 14 days OR
Clarithromycin for 7 days
Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole14 days for persons who are unable to take the medications listed above.
Treat the patient and close family contacts

There are no national guidlines for the treatment of parapertussus.

  Control of Case
Control of Contacts
  DHS-CSN <>
2011 Pertussis Update, IL Department of Public Health
Post exposure antibiotic prophylaxis will prevent secondary cases.
  Prevention - Vaccines  

Vaccinations are the key to prevent pertussis infection
DTaP for Infants and Children: Five doses at 2, 4, 6, 15-18 months, and 4–6 years of age.
Tdap for teens: a booster Tdap at age 11 or 12 years.
Tdap for adults: If an adult who never have Tdap before should receive one dose of Tdap.
Tdap for pregnant women: If pregnant women who did not previously vaccinated with Tdap should receive one dose of Tdap after 20 weeks gestation or immediately postpartum.
Tdap for teens and adults (including 65 years and older) who will close contact with an infant (<12 months): at least 2 weeks before contact.
A 2-year interval between Td and Tdap is suggested, but not required.
2011 Pertussis Update, IL Department of Public Health

No specific vaccines
  What besides vaccination are the best and easiest ways of preventing flu?  
Cover your mouth and nose when coughing, stay home when sick and avoid contact with sick people, wash hands often with soap and water, eat healthily, and drink fluids.
Same as pertussis