Pertussis is spread through direct contact with respiratory secretions and saliva. Without treatment, an infected person can spread the disease up to 21 days after onset of symptoms.
Diagnosis is made by a healthcare provider who obtains a sample of mucus from the back of the nose which is sent to a lab and confirmed by a positive test result for pertussis. Treatment consists of antibiotics, rest, fluids and over-the-counter pain/fever reducers, if needed. Pertussis is prevented through routine vaccination, practicing proper hygiene and staying away from others who are ill.