Parapertussis

Parapertussis is a disease that affects the lungs. Parapertussis is similar to pertussis (whooping cough), but is less severe.

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On this page:
What are the symptoms of parapertussis?
Who gets parapertussis?
Is there a vaccine for parapertussis?
Is there a lab test for parapertussis?
How is parapertussis spread?
How long can a person spread parapertussis?
Can parapertussis be treated?
How can parapertussis be prevented?

What are the symptoms of parapertussis?

  • A cough that occurs in sudden, uncontrollable bursts
  • High-pitched whooping sounds when breathing in after a coughing episode
  • Vomiting after a coughing spell

Who gets parapertussis?

Anyone at any age can get parapertussis.

Is there a vaccine for parapertussis?

No vaccine for parapertussis exists. The pertussis vaccine does not protect against parapertussis.

Is there a lab test for parapertussis?

Yes. To test for parapertussis, the nasal passages are swabbed. Nasal material on the swab is then examined in the lab for the presence of parapertussis bacteria.

How is parapertussis spread?

Parapertussis is spread through the air in droplets produced during coughing or sneezing. A person can get parapertussis when he or she is directly coughed at or sneezed on by someone with parapertussis, or if he or she spends a lot of time close to a person who has parapertussis.

What is the incubation period for parapertussis?

The time period between exposure and the onset of illness is unknown. It may be 7 to 10 days or as long as 21 days.

How long can a person spread parapertussis?

Parapertussis is probably most infectious (most likely to spread to others) early in the illness.

  • A person with parapertussis can probably spread the disease to others during the first three weeks of coughing.
  • A person with parapertussis cannot spread the disease to others if they have completed five days of antibiotic treatment or they are beyond the first three weeks of coughing.

Note: Persons with parapertussis do not need to stay home from school, work, or other activities because the illness is relatively mild.

Can parapertussis be treated?

Parapertussis can be treated with antibiotics, but treatment may not cure the symptoms.

Preventive treatment is not generally recommended for contacts of people with parapertussis. Preventive treatment may be considered for close contacts who are at a higher risk for more severe disease, including infants and immunocompromised people.

How can parapertussis be prevented?

  • Avoid close contact with others who are coughing or otherwise ill.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Cover your cough and sneezes with a tissue, or cough and sneeze into your sleeve.

 

Updated Wednesday, 14-Aug-2013 10:27:19 CDT