Whooping cough: identification, assessment and management
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Whooping cough: identification, assessment and management

Jackie Bentley Senior lecturers in child health, University of Worcester, Worcester
Jenny Pinfield Senior lecturers in child health, University of Worcester, Worcester
Jo Rouse Principal lecturer in child health, University of Worcester, Worcester

Although there is a high uptake of vaccinations providing protection against Bordetella pertussis, the main cause of whooping cough, there has been an increase in the incidence of notifications of the disease in the UK and other developed countries in recent years. The increase in cases of whooping cough is mainly evident in older children and adults. While these individuals may experience persistent and unpleasant symptoms, most notably prolonged cough, symptoms may be mild, in part, because most older children and adults have been vaccinated against the disease. The most significant public health concern relating to whooping cough is that infected older children and adults may transmit the disease to unvaccinated infants who are most vulnerable to the symptoms. This article aims to develop the reader’s understanding of whooping cough, including its prevention and management.

Nursing Standard. 28, 11,50-57. doi: 10.7748/ns2013.11.28.11.50.e7911

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Received: 21 May 2013

Accepted: 01 July 2013