Generally affecting infants, young children, adolescents, and young adults the highly contagious bacterial disease caused by Bordetella pertussis, and known as Whooping Cough, lingers for about six weeks before subsiding. Whooping Cough attacks approximately forty-eight and a half million people around the world every year, and kills about 295,000 patients annually, making it one of the leading causes of vaccine preventable deaths worldwide.
Infecting the upper respiratory system, and resulting in a high pitched whooping sound in young children when they inhale air after coughing, the symptoms of Whooping Cough are mild during the initial stages of the ailment, then become severe coughing fits, characterized by tearless crying, sunken eyes, a dry mouth and skin, irritability, restlessness, lethargy, choking, diarrhea, vomiting after coughing, inspiratory whooping, subconjunctival hemorrhaging, hyposphagma, hernias, post-cough fainting, vertebral artery dissections, rib fractures, urinary incontinence, a runny nose, heavy sneezing, and the paraoxysmal coughing consisting of multiple group episodes of five to ten coughs every hour around the clock.
Whooping Cough may be diagnosed through such things as the patient’s medical history, physical examinations, nasopharyngeal swab cultures, direct immunofluorescence cultures, Bordet-Gengou medium cultures, polymerase chain reaction cultures, DFA methods, chest x-rays, high levels of Bordetella pertussis in the blood, and nose and throat muscus samples.
Treatment options available for Whooping Cough include pertussis vaccines that protect against the disease for up to ten years, pertussis booster vaccinations, the DTaP Acellular Pertussis Vaccine, the Boostrix and Adacel Pertussis Vaccines, eating several small meals a day, hospitalization, thick respiratory secretion suctions, monitored breathing, being given oxygen if needed, IV insertions, bed rest, cool-mist vaporizers, heavy fluid intakes, oxygen tents, sedatives, and antibiotics such as Azithromycin, Erythromycin, Clarithromycin, Trimethoprin, and Sulfame Thoxazole.
Incubated between seven to ten days Whooping Cough is easily spread to others through tiny drops of fluid that exit the infected patient’s mouth or nose, become airborne, and are inhaled by the other person, or gets attached to their hands, and enters that person’s nose or mouth.
Possible complications caused by Whooping Cough include apriea, slowed or stopped breathing, pneumonia, convulsions, mental retardation, cerebral brain hemorrhages, permanent seizure disorders, brain damage, nose bleeds, ear infections, high fevers, bluish skin coloring, persistent vomiting, and dehydration.
This Article was compiled from several websites that provide much more information about Whooping Cough including: