Family Health: Christmas with a Whooping Cough – Symptoms
Christmas comes with the cold months, and the cold usually brings the cough. Right now, one of my little girls and I are showing early signs of common cold. We’ll have ourselves checked tomorrow and I sure hope this is not pertussis. Anyhow, if you think you or your kid is suffering from the same dilemma or something worse, here’s a guest post you ought to read…
Whooping Cough – The Symptoms
Signs of Whooping Cough
Individuals with a constant loud cough may have pertussis. This bacterial infection usually occurs in infants and children. This condition is also called whooping cough. After an infected individual coughs for an extended time, they inhale air to replenish the lungs. The inhalation of air causes a whooping sound. This sound is a common symptom of the illness. Another dangerous symptom is the paroxysmal coughing that can last for several minutes. While the patient is coughing, they are unable to breathe. When the paroxysmal cough ceases the lungs immediately suck in air while a whooping sound occurs.
A patient may cough for such a long time that fainting occurs due to lack of oxygen. In addition, the severe prolonged coughing can cause an individual to vomit. A hemorrhage of the eyes under the conjunctiva is possible because of the violent coughing and vomiting. The blood vessels in the white portion of the eyeball burst causing a red coloration. This condition is a bruise that will change to a yellow or green color. The bruising of the conjunctiva takes approximately two weeks to heal completely. Occasionally, a rib in the chest may fracture because of the violent coughing. Internal muscle tissue can tear while coughing causing a hernia of various organs in the body. Urinary incontinence is often a symptom that happens because of the coughing or fainting.
Pertussis incubates in the body for approximately a week. During this catarrhal period, the child has a runny nose, sneezing and mild cough. Within two weeks, the violent coughing begins. The forceful coughing occurs several times an hour day and night. Each time the child will struggle to breathe after the coughing ends. Whooping cough can last for eight weeks or longer. Whooping cough is commonly called the 100 days’ cough in several countries. There is a slow recovery from pertussis causing the coughing to continue in a milder form for several weeks. The coughing spells are often triggered by a child yelling, eating, laughing or stretching. The whooping sound as a child breathes may continue for several months.
Many children receive vaccinations that prevent pertussis. Vaccination protects a child for a maximum of 10 years. Children typically receive this as a combination immunization that protects against several infectious diseases. In addition, a child receives additional booster vaccinations. Many public schools require students to have a record of immunization as a criterion for enrollment. Adults should receive booster immunizations throughout their lifetime. This is commonly achieved by receiving a combination pertussis, tetanus and diphtheria vaccine. Parents of young children should receive boosters to avoid transferring whooping cough. The immunization is highly effective at preventing whooping cough in most individuals. However, a physician can use blood tests or bacteria cultures to diagnose the condition. A patient can be treated with various antibiotics. Worldwide about 300,000 individuals die each year from whooping cough and its complications. Complications include seizures, pneumonia, brain damage and respiratory distress.
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