What Are the Symptoms of Pertussis?

C. Daw

There are many different symptoms of pertussis, which is a disease more commonly referred to as whooping cough. Babies, younger children, and certain elderly people are especially prone to this deadly infection. The bacteria called bordetella pertussis is responsible for this disease which is spread through the air, or through the infected person’s sputum. Common symptoms are similar to flu and cold signs, and are often mistaken for them.

Someone with pertussis can experience a sore throat within 20 days after infection.
Someone with pertussis can experience a sore throat within 20 days after infection.

The people who are susceptible to this infection are those who have a low resistance to infection. The common cold is usually confused with this disease because the early symptoms of pertussis are identical. These symptoms can appear after five to 20 days after getting the infection, and they include signs such as the flu, cough, colds, sore throats along with a fever, general feeling of being unwell, loss of appetite, vomiting at the end of a bout of coughing, and watery eyes. The pertussis disease can affect anyone, including infants, children or adults.

Coughing can be a symptom of a deeper medical problem.
Coughing can be a symptom of a deeper medical problem.

Runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, coughing, and low grade fever is the first stage of the common cold, and pertussis. After that, it enters into remission, just as pertussis does, and then it moves into the second stage. This stage includes severe coughing attacks. If not cured, it enters into the third stage after six to 10 weeks of the second stage, where the coughing spells become shorter and less intense. These symptoms of pertussis are easily seen and when they do occur, a medical provider should be visited.

Every 10 years an adult should be re-vaccinated because even though children are vaccinated, their immunity wears off over time. Whooping cough vaccines do not guarantee lifelong immunity. If a cough is present for more than two weeks, or other symptoms of pertussis are noticed, the doctor will examine the lungs. Any signs of this disease will require a throat examination, involving a test to check the sputum for bacteria, in order for it to be officially diagnosed.

Each year about three hundred thousand people die from this disease, especially children under twelve months of age that contract this disease. Whooping cough can only be treated with a few different methods. One of them is the use of antibiotics, and the other is by immunization. Some of the most common of these prescriptions drugs are erythromycin, azithromycin and clarithromycin. Tetanus and diphtheria immunizations are combined and given to patients with whooping cough, as well as to infants between the ages of two and six months and toddlers between four and six years old. These sets of boosters help the immune system fight off the pertussis disease, along with other common deadly diseases

To prevent dehydration, the patient is given plenty of fluids to drink like water, soup, fruits, and juices. The patient that has symptoms of pertussis is isolated from other people because it is a highly contagious disease. Hospital treatment is needed for babies with whooping cough because they often vomit after coughing, and in this case, they need to be feed through tubes. Pertussis is a disease that can kill its victims, and it cannot be cured naturally.

Although elderly people are especially prone to contracting pertussis, unfortunately whooping cough vaccines do not guarantee lifetime immunity.
Although elderly people are especially prone to contracting pertussis, unfortunately whooping cough vaccines do not guarantee lifetime immunity.

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