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What is the treatment for whooping cough

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Quick self-diagnosis test

Introduction from Dr Doug Jenkinson

Symptoms (sounds and video)


Laboratory diagnosis



Who catches it?

How do you catch it?


A printout for your doctor


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Keyworth study of whooping cough

About Dr Doug Jenkinson

Sufferers' comments and experiences


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Babies who have not completed their course of immunisations, which are usually finished by about 4 months, will get very ill if they get whooping cough and must be admitted to hospital because there are important treatments that can be applied to babies there.

Some childen in the first 5 years whether immunised or not can get it badly and might need admission to hospital. If they get complications such as preumonia they will probably need admission too.

For older children and adults there is no treatment that makes any difference unless there are complications. If given in the incubation period or very early symptom phase Azithromycin antibiotic can prevent the disease or reduce the severity. It is also given to prevent infectivity in the first three weeks from the start of symptoms. Cough suppressants and inhalers do not help.

This is bad news and the reason why prevention by immunisation is so important.