Whooping Cough | Diagnosis & Treatment

How is whooping cough diagnosed?

In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnosis of whooping cough is often confirmed by a culture taken from your child’s nose.

How is whooping cough treated?

Sometimes oxygen and intravenous (IV) fluids are needed until your child begins to recover, and he may be hospitalized for supportive care and monitoring. Your child's physician may also order a course of antibiotic treatment such clarithromycin (Biaxin), azithromycin (Zithromax) or a similar antibiotic.

Family members and others who have been in close contact with your child may also be started on antibiotic therapy, even if they have received the vaccine in the past.

Other treatment may include the following:

  • keeping your child warm
  • eating small, frequent meals
  • increased fluid intake (giving your child more liquids to drink)
  • reducing stimuli that may provoke coughing