Whooping Cough

Whooping cough is caused by a bacterial infection with the micro-organism Bordetella pertussis. It is becoming much less common nowadays due to the introduction of vaccines and immunization.

The incubation period is from 7 to 10 days and it normally starts like a common cold with runny eyes and nose and a raised temperature. After a short while a cough begins which has a characteristic sound to it as the sufferer starts coughing violently for no reason and continues until they have to suck in air hence the whooping noise at the end.

Many young children will cough so violently that, the whooping noise will be followed by them being sick, and it can be very distressing for them. It is a highly infectious disease and if a child has it, it is strongly advisable that he/she be kept away from other people until they are well.

Treatment is with an antibiotic erythromycin, which can help reduce the infectivity of the illness, however the cough can persist for many months. Complications can include collapsed lung, and convulsions due to oxygen starvation.

Additional Medical Conditions:

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