oa SA Pharmaceutical Journal - Is pertussis on the increase? : review
Pertussis immunity, whether acquired by natural infection or vaccination, is not permanent and wanes after 5-10 years. This may result in reinfection, or the development of pertussis in a previously vaccinated patient. The USA Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that pertussis seems to be making a comeback. Many cases are being reported in previously vaccinated children between the ages of 10 and 19 years. Vaccination remains the most important preventative strategy. Routine vaccination of children as part of the Expanded Program on Immunization is recommended, as well as booster doses for adults and pregnant women. Since pertussis is often diagnosed at a late stage, treatment is mainly supportive. Antibiotics are provided to reduce the severity of the disease and prevent further spread thereof. Infants and younger patients, immunocompromised patients and patients with comorbidities are at increased risk of complications. Macrolides are the first-line treatment and prophylaxis. The choice of agent depends on the age of the patient, the potential for adverse effects and tolerability. This article will review the disease, treatment options and prevention of pertussis.
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