Whooping cough is known as Pertussis, and is a highly contageous communicable disease, so it spreads easily, and usually affects the young. And Pertussis, known also as Whooping cough, can be a serious infection of the respiratory tract. The cause is due to a microbe called Bordetella pertussis, a communicable gram-negative coccobicillus that was first described during the 1600s, yet was not isolated until the turn of the 19th century. What is unique about this microbe is that it’s pathogen is specifically a human.
Pertussis is endemic throughout the world, which means that it is prevalent to particular unimmunized regions and is cyclic every few years. There are 40 million or so cases of Pertussis every year, with about 300,000 deaths worldwide every year as well. It affects the elderly and infants the most as far as severity and complications. Over 70 percent of Pertussis cases are acquired by those who are less than 5 years old. Also, Pertussis is most prevelant in the Spring and Fall seasons.
It is an bacterial infection, so diagnosing Pertussis is done through performing a culture to isolate the bacteria that is causing the disease, so the proper antibiotic can be given to the patient. The antibiotic is usually most effective from what is known as the Macrolide class of antibiotics, or the antibiotic class of eurythromycin for two weeks of treatment.
Complications that become a cause of concern are of a respiratory nature, so those patients are usually placed in respiratory isolation in a medical institution, if their symptoms progress associated with this disease.
Vaccinations are given usually in developed countries. 5 doses of the vaccine are administered, with three doses during infancy, one dose as a toddler, and one dose as a child. The ones for children are known as DTP vaccinations. www.cdc.gov should provide you with additional information,