How to Prevent Whooping Cough

By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
How to Prevent Whooping Cough

Whooping cough is a contagious acute respiratory disease caused by bacteria. These are human pathogens belonging to the Bordetella genus called Bordetella pertussis, B. parapertussis, B. bronchiseptica and adenoviruses. Unvaccinated children are suceptible to whooping cough from birth. The most effective way to prevent whooping cough is to be vaccinated, however good hygiene habits can reduce transmission. Preventive measures against whooping cough include the following:

You'll need:
  • disposable tissues
  • water and soap
  • alcohol gel sanitiser
  • vaccination
  • erythromycin or clarithromycin
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Steps to follow:

Cover the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing with disposable tissues. Discard the used tissues in the rubbish bin immediately after - don't leave them on surfaces you frequently touch and don't leave them in pockets. If you don't have a tissue to cough or sneeze into, do it in the crease of your elbow rather than your hands.


Observe proper hand hygiene by regularly washing your hands with soap and water, or with alcohol gel sanitiser. When washing your hands or teaching your children how to wash their hands properly, remember the five simple and effective steps:Wet, Lather, Scrub Rinse and Dry.


Keeping infants, especially those younger than 4 months old, as far as possible from people with a cough or respiratory symptoms.


Avoid droplet transmission in healthcare settings by applying standard preventative measures. Healthcare workers are occupationally exposed to a variety of infectious diseases through the course of their work.

Droplet transmission occurs when an infection is transmitted from one person to another by droplets of moisture expelled from the body through sneezing, coughing, talking, or even during medical procedures.


The identified patients must have complete vaccination according to their age. Below is a OneHowTo guide to the recommendations.

How to Prevent Whooping Cough - Step 5

The recommended medicine for treatment or prevention of whooping cough are erythromycin or clarithromycin. It should be taken for 14 days and it is recommended that all people in the household, regardless of age and immune condition also take the medicine.


Symptomatic patients cannot attend school until they are treated by the attending paediatrician. Children receiving treatment can attend school after 5 days of receiving antibiotics and if their clinical condition allows it.


A child with a complete vaccination does not require revaccination with a whole cell DTP vaccine or with an acellular DTP vaccine.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Prevent Whooping Cough, we recommend you visit our Diseases & secondary effects category.

  • Measures should be taken by patients and close relatives.
  • Preventive measures should be indicated by a doctor.

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