The best way to prevent pertussis is to get vaccinated. There are vaccines for infants, children, preteens, teens and adults. The pertussis vaccine is part of the DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis) immunization. DTaP immunizations are given in a series of doses before a child's sixth birthday. Teens ages 14 to 16 and adults need one booster shot. This booster shot is very important for anyone who is in close contact with babies younger than one year old. Talk to your doctor about getting vaccinated against pertussis.
Washing your hands often and staying away from people who are sick can also help you avoid catching pertussis.