Follow-up Recommendations for Pertussis Exposures in the Health Care Setting
Health care workers exposed to a patient infected with pertussis
For health care workers (HCW) caring for a patient with pertussis, identify the type of exposure:
|Type of HCW exposure (patient's cough was less than 21 days at time of exposure)||Recommended follow-up|
|Face-to-face contact with coughing or sneezing patient while HCW not masked*, or
Performing or assisting with procedures that induce coughing or produce aerosols while HCW not masked*, or
Presence in same room with coughing or sneezing patient while HCW not masked* and performing a close-contact activity (e.g., bathing, feeding)
|Antibiotic prophylaxis or 21-day symptom watch from time of exposure
|Presence in same room with coughing or sneezing patient while HCW not masked* and without close contact||Recommend 21-day symptom watch from time of exposure|
Patients/staff exposed to a health care worker infected with pertussis
For patients or staff in close contact with an infected HCW, identify the type of exposure:
|Type of patient exposure (HCW's cough was less than 21 days at time of exposure)||Recommended follow-up|
If a HCW has pertussis, please contact the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) for guidance.
|HCW was masked* while infectious and working with patients||No notification of patients is needed|
|HCW was not masked* while infectious and had contact with patients less than 12 months of age or pregnant women||Call MDH and notify of exposure. MDH will work with you to recommend post-exposure prophylaxis letters** and/or phone calls|
|HCW was not masked* while infectious and had contact with patients who had a pre-existing lung condition that would make them susceptible to a more severe case of pertussis||Mail notification letter** and recommend post-exposure prophylaxis|
|HCW was not masked* while infectious and patient was not less than 12 months old, pregnant, or otherwise compromised with a lung condition||Mail notification letter** recommending testing if symptoms develop|
|Staff who worked with an infected HCW and had prolonged, close proximity, and unprotected contact||Recommend antibiotic prophylaxis or 21-day symptom watch from time of exposure
* Surgical or procedure mask is sufficient.
** Letter templates are available through MDH.
- Pertussis Treatment and Prophylaxis
This site provides treatment guidance with information about appropriate antimicrobials and dosage amounts.
- Repeat exposures
For questions on whether or not to repeat prophylaxis, please call
651-201-5414 or 1-877-676-5414.
- Shefer, A. et al. (November 2011). Immunization of Health-Care Personnel: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). MMWR 60(RR07);1-45.
- Goins, William P. et al. (January 2012). A Comparison of two Strategies to Prevent Infection Following Pertussis in Vaccinated Health Care Personnel. Clinical Infectious Disease.