Which patients with suspected exposure to pertussis should receive prophylaxis?
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Only high-risk close contacts of known cases should receive prophylactic antibiotics, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC defines high-risk as (1) infants who are <12 months, (2) those especially vulnerable to the complications of pertussis, or (3) those, such as health care workers, in close contact with high-risk individuals (strength of recommendation [SOR]: C, based on consensus/expert opinion). Evidence is insufficient to support a benefit of prophylactic antibiotic treatment for all household pertussis contacts to prevent the development or spread of illness (SOR: B, based on a systematic review of studies).
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