Early antibiotics reduce spread of pertussis in homes

ANTIBIOTIC treatment for pertussis within the first week of illness is highly effective in reducing household transmission rates, Australian researchers have found.

A study of nearly 100 households found the risk of a person contracting pertussis was more than six times greater if the first household case did not receive macrolide treatment within seven days of illness onset. Vaccination status had no significant impact on transmission rates.

Age was a factor, however, with those younger than 12 at more than five times greater risk of infection, despite being