Pharmacy and Wellness Review


Pertussis is an acute infectious disease caused by the organism Bordetella pertussis and characterized by a "whooping cough." Incidence of the disease had declined since the development of a vaccine, but is now increasing in reported cases. This increase has been attributed to both an increased awareness but also surmised to be related to a decrease in vaccinations. The pertussis vaccine is given in conjunction with tetanus and diphtheria vaccines to children before the age of 6 in five separate injections over the course of four to six years. A booster is now recommended for the older child and adults due to the declining protection of the vaccine over time. Pertussis is highly contagious and early treatment with a macrolide antibiotic is recommended to limit the severity and prevent transmission. It can be deadly in infants, which is why prevention via immunizations is so important. The pharmacist can assist with advising individuals of the importance of vaccination.



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