Jun 26, 2023
The respiratory disease pertussis, also referred to as whooping cough, is an extremely contagious condition. It can often be identified by a rough hacking cough followed by a high-pitched breath intake that sounds like a "whoop."
Whooping cough was once thought to be a sickness that only affected children before the vaccination was developed. The majority of people affected by whooping cough nowadays are teenagers, elderly people whose immune systems have worn down, and tiny children who are too young to have had the full course of immunizations.
Whooping cough deaths, however rare, typically involve young children. Everyone who will come in contact with an infant, including pregnant women, must receive the whooping cough vaccine.
Read this blog further to get a quick overview of this important topic for MEDICINE to ace your NEET PG exam preparation.
The first signs and symptoms of whooping cough usually show seven to ten days after infection, however, they can occasionally take longer. They typically start out mild and resemble an ordinary cold:
After a week or two, signs and symptoms start to deteriorate. Excessive coughing is caused by the buildup of thick mucus in your airways. Strong coughing episodes that last a long time may:
Bordetella pertussis is a type of bacteria that causes whooping cough. Tiny germ-filled droplets are released into the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes, and anyone close can breathe them into their lungs.
Your childhood whooping cough vaccination eventually loses its effectiveness. As a result, the majority of adults and teenagers are vulnerable to the virus during an outbreak, which still happens frequently.
The risk of serious problems and death is higher among infants younger than 12 months who are unvaccinated or who haven't received all of the necessary vaccinations.
Adults and teenagers frequently recover completely from whooping cough. When problems do occur, laborious coughing is frequently the cause, such as:
In neonates, particularly those under 6 months old, whooping cough consequences can be more severe and include:
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The best method of preventing whooping cough is the pertussis vaccine, which doctors typically offer along with doses against diphtheria and tetanus. Beginning vaccines in early childhood is advised by doctors.
The vaccine, which has five doses, is often given to kids between the ages of:
The adverse effects of the vaccine can include a fever, agitation, headache, fatigue, or soreness where the injection was done. These side effects are frequently minimal.
Early on, it can be challenging to distinguish whooping cough from other common respiratory ailments such as a cold, the flu, or bronchitis because the signs and symptoms are similar.
By inquiring about symptoms and listening to the cough, clinicians are occasionally able to identify whooping cough. The diagnosis could require medical testing to be confirmed. These tests could be:
Because whooping cough is more harmful to infants, they are frequently treated in hospitals. Intravenous fluids may be required if your child has trouble swallowing food or liquids. Additionally, your child will be kept apart from other people to stop the infection from spreading.
Treatment for adolescents and adults can typically be handled at home.
The whooping cough-causing bacteria is eradicated by antibiotics, hastening the healing process. Family members who have been exposed may be given preventative antibiotics.
Unfortunately, there aren't many options available to stop the cough. For instance, over-the-counter cough medications are avoided since they have little impact on whooping cough.
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