Fortunately, with general immunisation in the first few months of life, this highly lethal disease is much less common than it was many years ago. However, in recent years, because of a few widely publicised scares, some mothers are neglecting to have this carried out. Result? Their children are unprotected. and run a grave risk of infection.
Whooping Cough Symptoms
The pertussis germ is spread by infected moisture particles. It takes seven to ten days for symptoms to develop. In the early stages it is much like a simple cold, with sneezing, running eyes and nose, a slight fever and mild innocuous cough.
But within a couple of weeks, the cough develops and worsens. It comes on in harsh bouts, with a series of coughs in the one expiration. This is followed by a sudden deep breath, with the typical “whoop” noise as air surges back into the lungs. There may be vomiting, and eating often starts this. Sometimes hard lumps of phlegm are coughed up. The coughing may persist anywhere from two to six weeks, but it frequently persists for many weeks after this as the child develops the coughing habit. It must make the infant terribly tired.
As most cases occur in the first few months, when baby is not very strong, it is extremely exhausting. In fact, the little fellow often lies back worn-out from the effort expended. It is a sorry sight. Many die from pneumonia while some suffer from other complications. Parts of the lung may collapse, and later lead to ichiectasis, a chronic lung infection. In recent years, with differing attitudes ID immunisation, or perhaps a change in nature of the germ, it is now affecting older children.
Whooping Cough Treatment
Is there any satisfactory treatment?
Intensive nursing is essential. This is very time-consuming and exhausting on the mother or hospital staff: Full expert Medical attention is imperative. Treatment will be ordered, and this will vary in e-ach case. Certain antibiotics are helpful, and lots of intensive back-up is necessary.
The younger the patient, the worse the prospects. With early and careful treatment, the results are good, especially with older children over the age of 12 months.