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Whooping cough is an infectious and highly contagious bacterial disease of the nose, throat and lungs which causes long bursts of coughing. Whooping cough is an infection caused by a bacterium called as "Bordetella Pertussis". Whooping cough commonly affects infants and young children but can be prevented by immunization with pertussis vaccine. Outbreaks of whooping cough were first described in the 16th Century.
In young children a deep "whooping" sound is often heard when they tries to take a breath. Whoop sound is rare in patients under 6 months of age and in adults. Children can have several coughing spells each hour, including while they are sleeping. Older children and adults may have whooping cough with or without the 'whooping' sound.
The incubation period for whooping cough is usually 7 to 10 days, but can be as long as 21 days to one month. Whooping cough is also known is "Pertusis".
Causes of Whooping cough
Whooping cough is highly contagious. The bacteria of whooping cough spread from person to person
Signs & Symptoms of Whooping cough
Whooping cough can cause prolonged symptoms. The child usually has 1 to 2 weeks of common cold symptoms, followed by approximately 2 to 4 weeks of severe coughing. The first symptoms of whooping cough are similar to those of a common cold:
After about 1 to 2 weeks, the dry, irritating cough evolves into coughing spells. During a coughing spell, which can last for more than a minute, the child may turn red or purple. At the end of a spell, the child may make a characteristic whooping sound when breathing in or may vomit. Between spells, the child usually feels well.
Diagnosis of Whooping cough
The initial diagnosis is usually based on the symptoms, Complete medical history and physical examination. In very young infants, the symptoms may be caused by pneumonia instead.
Preventions of Whooping cough
Although a vaccine has been developed against whooping cough, which is routinely given to children in the first year of life, cases of the disease still occur, especially in infants younger than 6 months of age.
Treatments of Whooping cough
Specific treatment for whooping cough will be determined by your physician based on:
Other possible treatment includes:
When to Call Doctor
Call your doctor if you or your child develops following symptoms:
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