Whooping Cough (Pertussis) (cont.)
Self-Care at Home
Because younger children are at higher risk to develop a severe case of whooping cough than adults, many
may be admitted to the hospital.
For children and adults who do not require hospitalization, here are some tips to manage the disease at home after a doctor has diagnosed whooping cough.
- Isolate the person as much as possible (for example, a separate bedroom) until he or she has received five days of antibiotics. If possible, everyone who comes into contact with the sick person should wear a surgical mask to cover their face. Sometimes close contacts of an individual diagnosed with whooping cough may be prescribed antibiotics to prevent transmission of the bacteria.
- Practice good hand washing. Whooping cough bacteria can be transmitted through contact with contaminated inanimate objects such as dishes.
- Drink plenty of fluids, including water, juices, soups, and eat fruits to prevent dehydration.
- Eat small, frequent meals to decrease the amount of vomiting.
- Use a cool-mist vaporizer to help loosen secretions and soothe the cough.
- Keep the home environment free from irritants that can trigger coughing, such as smoke, aerosols, and fumes.
- Monitor a sick child for signs of dehydration, such as dry lips and tongue, dry skin, decrease in the amount of urine or wet diapers, and crying without producing tears. Report any signs of dehydration to your doctor immediately.
- Do not give cough medications or other home remedies unless otherwise instructed by your doctor.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/18/2014
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