How is pertussis treated?

Medications used to treat the infection include antibiotics that help to prevent infected people from spreading the disease and may also lessen the later symptoms of pertussis if given during the early stage of the illness. Treatment should begin as soon as possible after the illness is diagnosed. People who have been in close contact with someone infected with pertussis also should be treated with antibiotics within 3 weeks of exposure.

Babies and infants who develop pertussis may need to be hospitalized, because they can experience life-threatening complications, such pneumonia or breathing problems.

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