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PERTUSIS (WHOOPING COUGH) AND TREATMENT



PERTUSIS (WHOOPING COUGH) AND TREATMENT 

 Whooping cough (pertussis) is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection. In many people, it's marked by a severe hacking cough followed by a high-pitched intake of breath that sounds like "whoop." Before the vaccine was developed, whooping cough was considered a childhood disease. 

Now whooping cough primarily affects children too young to have completed the full course of vaccinations and teenagers and adults whose immunity has faded.

 Deaths associated with whooping cough are rare but most commonly occur in infants. That's why it's so important for pregnant women — and other people who will have close contact with an infant — to be vaccinated against whooping cough. 

 SYMPTOMS

 Once you become infected with whooping cough, it takes about seven to 10 days for signs and symptoms to appear, though it can sometimes take longer. They're usually mild at first and resemble those of a common cold:

 *Runny nose

 *Nasal congestion 

*Red, watery eyes 

*Fever 

*Cough After a week or two, signs and symptoms worsen. Thick mucus accumulates inside your airways, causing uncontrollable coughing.

 Severe and prolonged coughing attacks may:

 *Provoke vomiting

 *Result in a red or blue face 

*Cause extreme fatigue 

*End with a high-pitched "whoop" sound during the next breath of air However, many people don't develop the characteristic whoop. 

Sometimes, a persistent hacking cough is the only sign that an adolescent or adult has whooping cough. Infants may not cough at all. Instead, they may struggle to breathe, or they may even temporarily stop breathing.

 When to see a doctor?

  Call your doctor if prolonged coughing spells cause you or your child to: 

 Vomit Turn red or blue Seem to be struggling to breathe or have noticeable pauses in breathing Inhale with a whooping sound 

 CAUSES 

 Whooping cough is caused by bacteria. When an infected person coughs or sneezes, tiny germ-laden droplets are sprayed into the air and breathed into the lungs of anyone who happens to be nearby.  

RISK FACTORS 

 Whooping cough is thought to be on the rise for two main reasons. The whooping cough vaccine you receive as a child eventually wears off. 

This leaves most teenagers and adults susceptible to the infection during an outbreak — and there continue to be regular outbreaks.

 In addition, children aren't fully immune to whooping cough until they've received at least three shots, leaving those 6 months and younger at greatest risk of contracting the infection.

 COMPLICATIONS

 Teens and adults often recover from whooping cough with no problems. When complications occur, they tend to be side effects of the strenuous coughing, such as: 

*Bruised or cracked ribs

*Abdominal hernias 

*Broken blood vessels in the skin or the whites of your eyes 

*Infants In infants — especially those under 6 months of age — complications from whooping cough are more severe and may include: 

*Pneumonia

*Slowed or stopped breathing 

*Dehydration or weight loss due to feeding difficulties 

*Seizures 

*Brain damage Because infants and toddlers are at greatest risk of complications from whooping cough, they're more likely to need treatment in a hospital. Complications can be life-threatening for infants younger than 6 months old. 

 PREPARING FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT

 If you think you or your child has whooping cough, make an appointment with your family doctor or pediatrician. Severe symptoms may warrant a visit to an urgent care center or a hospital's emergency department.  

TESTS AND DIAGNOSIS 

 Diagnosing whooping cough in its early stages can be difficult because the signs and symptoms resemble those of other common respiratory illnesses, such as a cold, the flu or bronchitis. Sometimes, doctors can diagnose whooping cough simply by asking about symptoms and listening to the cough. 

Medical tests may be needed to confirm the diagnosis. Such tests may include:

*A nose or throat culture and test. Your doctor takes a swab or suction sample from the area where the nose and throat meet (nasopharynx). The sample is then checked for evidence of the presence of whooping cough bacteria. 

 *Blood tests. A blood sample may be drawn and sent to a lab to check your white blood cell count, because white blood cells help the body fight infections, such as whooping cough. A high white blood cell count typically indicates the presence of infection or inflammation. This is a general test and not specific for whooping cough. 

*A chest X-ray. Your doctor may order an X-ray to check for the presence of inflammation or fluid in the lungs, which can occur when pneumonia complicates whooping cough and other respiratory infections. 

 TREATMENTS

 Infants are typically hospitalized for treatment because whooping cough is more dangerous for that age group. Your child will also be isolated from others to prevent the infection from spreading. Treatment for older children and adults usually can be managed at home. Medications Visit your nearest Clinic or Doctor.


TREATMENT

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Mtonga Isaac Pharmacy, 

Ng'ombe Township,

#16/24 Off Zambezi road,

Email: mtongaisaacpharmacy@gmail.com,

 Tel: +260974272433/+26096639944,

Lusaka, Zambia

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