Good management of whooping cough includes:
All neonates with whooping cough should be urgently referred for specialist assessment. Whooping cough deaths are almost always in babies under two months of age.
Table 1: Current recommendations for treatment of infectious cases (first three weeks of symptoms)
Less than 6 months: 10 mg/kg orally, daily for 5 days.
Older than 6 months: 10 mg/kg up to 500 mg orally on day 1 then 5 mg/kg up to 250 mg daily for a further 4 days.
Source: Therapeutic Guidelines: Antibiotic (version 15, 2014)
Three key things you should tell your patients with whooping cough:
A whooping cough factsheet can reinforce the main public health messages for your patients.
If your patient is infectious, explain that it's important to not attend work, school, preschool, and childcare until after 5 days of effective antibiotic treatment. Provide a medical certificate as appropriate. It's especially important for cases not to be around infants or women in the late stages of pregnancy if they are infectious.
If your patient has had a cough for more than three weeks, they should not be infectious and no longer require antibiotic treatment or exclusion, even though they may still be coughing.