A respiratory system infection that is brought about by the bacterium known as Bordetella pertussis (or B. pertussis) could best be described as whooping cough. This condition is named after the sound ‘whoop’ made when affected persons try to inhale.
It is normally found in children that are less than 6 months since they are not yet protected by immunization and are vulnerable to situations like brain damage, convulsions, pneumonia, and death as well as the ones between 11 to 18 years due to the fact that their immunity has started to wane.
Facts You Must Know About Whooping Cough
A deep understanding of any condition is a prerequisite for solving it. Hence, the need to know some facts about whooping cough in your kid is a must not an option. For the sake of easy read, we have highlighted below the major seven facts about the health condition.
Here are the facts:
i.) This disease is an acute bacterial infection that is very contagious.
ii.) whooping cough normally affects little babies and young kids though it can be prevented by immunization with the help of the pertussis vaccine.
iii.) Little babies are mostly at risk of the complications, and even death from this condition.
iv.) Older ones could develop the whooping cough disease as their immunity from the pertussis vaccine gradually wanes.
v.) Clinical symptoms happen in three stages with the normal bursts of coughing experienced in the paroxysmal or second stage.
vi.) When antibiotics are applied at the early stage of the disease, this can limit the severity of the whooping cough condition.
vii.) The most popular complication of a whooping cough is secondary bacterial pneumonia.
Causes of Whooping Cough in Children
As previously mentioned earlier, causes of whooping cough in children can be traced basically to the bacterium Bordetella pertussis.
Signs and Symptoms of Whooping cough in Children
It is important that parents are vigilant with their kids so that they can spot signs of whooping cough. This condition has the ability to lead to a serious illness in children, and even adults thus making it necessary for parents to watch the health of their kids keenly and regularly. The symptoms of whooping cough in children normally grow within 5 to 10 days after exposure though it doesn’t stay for as long as 3 weeks in some cases. These symptoms for a whooping cough in children are the same at first with what is obtainable with the common cold. The symptoms include runny nose, mild coughing, diarrhea, low fever, nasal congestion, a dry cough, and sneezing.
Whooping Cough in Children: Contagious or Not?
For those in doubt over this question (is whooping cough contagious?), the fact is a whooping cough is highly contagious. The bacteria responsible for the condition are able to spread whooping cough from one person to another via tiny drops of fluid from the mouth or nose of an infected person.
Diagnosis of Whooping Cough in Children
Whooping cough diagnosis could prove to be difficult especially at the early stage since its symptoms are synonymous with that of popular respiratory issues like flu, bronchitis, or cold. In some cases, medical tests like blood tests, chest x-ray, and nose or throat culture and chest could be required to ascertain whooping cough diagnosis.
Treatment of a Whooping Cough in Children
Antibiotics could be employed in treating whooping cough most especially at the early stage though the disease is not recognized early most times but antibiotics (like azithromycin, erythromycin, sulfamethoxazole – trimethoprim, or clarithromycin) could still be administered in the treatment of a whooping cough to limit the possibility of complications when the disease is detected. Infants (the ones less than 6 months) are hospitalized most times when they develop a whooping cough. Treatment of a whooping cough is generally designed so as to limit symptoms as well as the damage these symptoms can cause. For heavy vomiting, fluids and electrolytes like potassium must be replaced within.
Remedies for Whooping Cough in Children
Natural home remedies are good agents that assist in relieving the whooping cough condition. Home remedies for a whooping cough include:
- Salt Water
- Inhaling Steam
- Aloe Vera
- Drink Fluids
- Breathing Exercises
- Proper Diet
- Peppermint Oil
- Eucalyptus Oil
- Proper Oxygen Supply
- Keep Warm
- Keep the Nose Clear
- Stay Away From Allergens
- Regulate Other Medication