Pertussis (whooping cough)

General or Other | - Others | Pertussis (whooping cough) (Disease)


Pertussis, also known as whooping cough is a highly contagious bacterial disease caused by Bordetella pertussis. In some countries, this disease is called the 100 days cough or cough of 100 days. The first symptoms of whooping cough are similar to those of a common cold: runny nose, sneezing, mild cough, low-grade fever.

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.

Causes and Risk factors

Although many infants and younger children who become infected with B. pertussis will develop the characteristic coughing episodes and accompanying whoop, not all will. And sometimes infants dont cough or whoop as older kids do. Infants may look as if theyre gasping for air with a reddened face and may actually stop breathing (called apnea) for a few seconds during particularly bad spells.

Diagnosis and Treatment

There is high pertussis vaccine coverage for children nationwide. However, protection from the childhood vaccine decreases over time. Preteens, teens and adults need to be revaccinated, even if they were completely vaccinated as children. ...

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