Information Regarding Pertussis Better Known as Whooping Cough
Pertussis, or Whooping Cough is a bacterial disease that affects the lungs and entire respiratory system. The bacteria responsible for the infection is called Bordetella pertussis and is very contagious, generally affecting young children and babies.
Why did this miserable disease earn such a pleasant name? I assure you it’s not because the disease is enjoyable to have. Whooping really makes reference to the whoop sound a toddler makes when inhaling because of inflammation and swelling of the voice box.
The Diseases’ History
Whooping Cough is the cockroach of diseases and seems to have been on the planet for ages. According to medical records the first cases of it were documented all the way back to the 16th century, the first outbreak occurred in Paris in 1578. Interestingly enough the bacteria responsible for the infection was not identified until 1906.
Signs of Whooping Cough
Whooping cough normally lasts as long as 10 weeks, interestingly enough in certain countries the disease has been called the 100 days cough. In stage 1 which lasts from 1 – 2 weeks, the person encounters symptoms common of upper respiratory infections like low grade fever, runny nose, sneezing and an occasional cough. Most people infected at this point assume they have a cold.
Soon after stage 2 begins, and it’s at this point it becomes sufficiently undeniable that the cold is actually whooping cough. During stage 2 there are fits of rapid and rather violent coughing spells. slowly the coughing increases and can last for 2 – 3 weeks. People have been known to crack ribs due to the frequent and forceful coughs, and vomiting and exhaustion are common after fits.
Stage 3 of Whooping Cough is the recovery stage when the coughing fits slowly lessens, and the fever completely breaks.
What is The Treatment for Pertussis?
If given sometime during stage 1, antibiotic therapy can greatly abate the severity of Pertussis, and even reduce the risk of spreading it to others. It’s still uncertain whether antibiotics have much effect on people who are 3 – 4 weeks into the course of the disease.
One complication that is most common with Pertussis is developing bacterial pneumonia, and children are most susceptible. Infants are at serious risk of complications and even death from whooping cough.
The Debate About Vaccines
The arguments about the safety and efficacy of vaccines continues in almost every country. In the case of the Whooping Cough vaccine, not only have recent studies indicated the negative effects of vaccinations on the developing brain of children, there have been myriad recent outbreaks of Whooping Cough, even in areas where 100% of the population had been inoculated for it. This begs the question whether these vaccines are in fact truly effective.
As more research is done on the effectiveness and possible dangers of vaccines, people, especially parents must conduct their own research and come to their own decisions as to whether they decide to vaccinate their kids.