Whooping cough is not curable with antibiotics; however, antibiotics can reduce the time a person is infected with this illness.Sometimes patients also receive sedatives to reduce coughing or extra fluids to compensate for fluids lost after coughing fits when affected people often vomit. Antibiotics to control pertussis are normally taken for one or two weeks. After three to five days of taking antibiotics for pertussis, an affected person is no longer a threat to infect others. Adolescents with an early case of whooping cough are usually put on bed rest in addition to taking antibiotics. Most infants who are two months or younger and are infected with whooping cough are put in the hospital to reduce the hazard of complications. Once in the hospital, infants are given antibiotics and are monitored closely.
Children are usually given a vaccine for whooping cough when they are around a year old in order to build up immunity to the disease.The vaccine is a combination of whooping cough, diphtheria, and tetanus vaccines. It is called the DTaP.The vaccine is created from dead Bordetella pertussis (the bacterium that causes whooping cough).Some DTaP vaccines are given in three shots over a period of three months, and others are given in five shots over a period of five years.The DTaP vaccine is given in a combination, so children do not have to receive as many shots.Almost every state in the United States calls for all toddlers and young children going into school to get the pertussis vaccine.Side effects of the DTaP vaccine include hives as a result of an allergic reaction, an elevated fever, paroxysms, or coma.This vaccine has been used for approximately fifty years.The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the vaccine, Pediarix in 2002. Pediarix includes immunization for polio, hepatitis B, pertussis, diphtheria, and tetanus.