Whooping Cough Overview:

Whooping Cough (Pertussis) is a highly contagious bacterial infection of the lining of the upper respiratory system.  The bacteria irritate this area causing difficulty breathing and a harsh cough.  This disease is very severe with three stages and can often last months.  Children under the age of one year are most susceptible to Whooping Cough because modern vaccinations prevent this disease.  A doctor can diagnose Whooping Cough by taking a patient’s history and cultures of the affected areas.  Treatment is often isolation of the affected individual and antibiotics.


Whooping Cough Causes:

Whooping Cough is caused by the bacteria, Bordetella pertussis.  One usually contracts this disease when he or she comes into contact with droplets of infected respiratory matter.  The bacteria then plant in the unaffected person and symptoms are seen within three to twelve days.  It is recommended that children are vaccinated at birth to prevent Whooping Cough.


Whooping Cough Symptoms:

In the first stage of Whooping Cough, a patient develops symptoms that mimic those of the common cold:  runny nose, mild fever, congestion, watery eyes, and sneezing.  This stage lasts up to two weeks and is the most contagious.  The second stage begins with the onset of the most serious symptoms and can last from two to four weeks longer.  During the second stage of Whooping Cough the cold-like symptoms often decrease but the cough intensifies to a violent, uncontrollable level.  During these coughing spasms the infected person often has difficulty breathing.  Excess mucus is often produced along with vomiting.  Respiratory complications are so severe in some cases that suffocation is a possibility.


Don’t Ignore the Threat

Why kids and adults should get immunized against whooping cough