This is a summary of guidance from the HPA on how to manage Whooping Cough. A member forwarded this on to me and requested I pass on the information as it is so important – so please do the same if you have other stuff you think everyone should know! There is separate guidance for the management of Health Care Workers.
Over the last year an outbreak of Whooping Cough has been declared because of the large numbers of cases. In September of this year a vaccination programme for women between 28 and 38 weeks of pregnancy was announced. If your pregnant patient asks about the vaccination, there is a useful NHS leaflet.
Those most at risk of serious illness are infants under the age of 4 months who are unimmunised or have had partial immunisation. Most of the management of Whooping Cough is directed at trying to avoid infection in this age group. In adults and older children, illness is usually mild and treatment doesn’t alter the course of illness if given more than 2/52 after the onset of illness.