Whooping Cough: Causes, Symptoms, Prevention

Pertussis: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

Whooping cough

Whooping cough symptoms Causes of Whooping cough – Whooping cough is commonly known as pertussis. Whooping cough is the correct medical spelling. pertussis is a  infection  respiratory  tract of infants less than 2 years old. This disease gets its name because patients with the disease make a “whooping” sound when they take a breath. Whooping cough is a contagious disease. Inhaling contaminated droplets leads to pertussis. The chemical is produced in the respiratory tract and it leads to inflammation.

Causes of whooping cough

The cause is a bacterium called, Bordetella Pertussis.  The bacterium is spread between people by respiratory droplets, which are produced when infected people cough or sneeze.  It can also be spread via contact with infected body fluids such as nasal secretions. Bacterias multiply in the airway and produces thick mucus.

Symptoms of whooping cough

Symptoms usually develop 7-17 days after the initial infection by the bacteria.

Most patients who develop symptoms are under the age of 2.

  • Runny nose,
  • Nasal congestion,
  • sneezing,
  • dry cough,
  • mild fever,
  • dry cough, are the common symptoms of pertussis or whooping cough.

# Symptoms usually last about 6 weeks, and are divided into 3 stages:

Stage 1 : symptoms include sneezing, runny eyes, runny nose, loss of appetite, loss of energy, and nighttime coughing.
Stage 2 : symptoms include a series of rapid coughs followed by the “whoop” noise when the person tries to take in a breath.
Stage 3 : is the recovery phase in which the coughing is not as frequent or as severe. This stage usually begins after about the 4th week.

  • hooping Cough is suspected in young patients with a cough lasting more than 2 weeks.

Prevention of whooping cough

  • Immunization with the pertussis vaccine is recommended for all infants. This vaccine is usually administered as a DTP (diphtheria, Tetanus, and pertussis) combined vaccine
  • Neither previous infection nor vaccination gives life-long immunity. However, booster doses of the vaccine are not recommended after the age of 6, unless there is an outbreak of the infection.

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