What is Whooping Cough?

Whooping Cough is an acute infection of the respiratory tract, seen only in children. It is typically a prolonged illness with an average duration of 6-8 weeks. The incubation period is 7-10 days.

Whooping Cough disease is caused by a bacteria called Bordetella pertussis.

Clinical Features of Whooping Cough

1. Early Stage:

Fever, cough, cold, watering of the eyes, malaise, weakness, body aches -1-2 weeks.

2. Cough Stage:

Severe cough, sudden, forceful, and repetitive. One spasm may produce 10-30 coughs. The physical effort of coughing is very severe. There is the prominence of neck muscles, neck veins stand, bulging of the eyes, and cyanosis. The cough sounds like a ‘Whoop’ due to the sudden taking of breath after a paroxysm. Vomiting may occur at
the end of the spasm-2 to 4 weeks.

3. Convalescent Stage:

Cough declines but resolution may take a few months.

Management of Whooping Cough

1. Complete bed rest in isolation.
2. Plenty of oral fluids, analgesics, sedation, cough syrups.
3. Consult a doctor.

Prevention:

Vaccination.

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