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Headache, lung pain, no cold symptoms, taken Azithromycin, done pertussis test. Contagious?

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Practicing since : 2001
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Hi - I have tested positive for Pertussis (whooping cough.)
Before they finally ran the Pertussis test - I was in and out of the hospital, twice, over a 4 week period. They would give me the Z-Pack Azithyromycin (5 Day.) Symptoms disappear for a few days but then when done with medicine they keep coming back.
1> I have NO cough, runny nose, or cold symptoms - only a mild headache and (sometime extreme - like a heart attack) pain in my lungs. Do you think I am contagious to others?
2> Does this sound like I am still in stage 1?, is a longer course of antibiotics likely to kill this thing? (Again the 5 day packs work but it comes back after a few days.)
3> Should I get the vaccine shot at this time?

4> I feel like I should demand from my doctor that I be put on a longer course of antibitics - if this is the right course - what antibiotic is the right one for this?
Posted Thu, 3 May 2012 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 30 minutes later

Thanks for writing to us.

A Pertusis infection in adulthood is usually diagnosed late.

1. You are presently in stage I of disease and are contagious to others. It is advisable for your family to get a booster vaccine shot.

2. A long course of antibiotic like Azithromycin is needed for complete cure. Antibiotic therapy can also help reduce the risk of transmission of the bacterium to other household members.

3. You should get a vaccine shot after the illness is over after consulting with your physician.

4. Long term course of Azithromycin will help you.

I hope my answer and recommendations are adequate and helpful.

I will be available for your further follow up queries if any.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Headache, lung pain, no cold symptoms, taken Azithromycin, done pertussis test. Contagious? 30 minutes later
How long is a long term course of Azithromycin? 30 days? ++?
Should family members also start antibiotics if they have not had vaccine in a while?
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 1 hour later

Thanks for writing again.

The duration of azithromycin depends on your symptoms and the extent of improvement. Usually a three weeks course is sufficient to kill all bacteria.
Family members should take a booster vaccine as soon as possible. Taking antibiotics will not prevent them from getting infected.

Wishing you an early recovery.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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