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Whooping Cough




 

Whooping Cough

Medical Name: Pertussis

Whooping Cough Menu

What is Whooping Cough?

Whooping Cough (Pertussis) is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection caused by a bacterium known as Bordetella pertussis. Although this infection also initially resembles to an ordinary cough and cold, but whooping cough may eventually turn very serious, particularly in small children.

Whooping cough occurs in two phases. In the first phase, an upper respiratory tract illness develops which is accompanied with fever, cough, and malaise. After a period of about two weeks the second phase of whooping cough starts, which is characterized by paroxysmal coughing. In this phase the cough is at a very serious stage and even 10 to 15 coughs may follow in rapid succession before a breath is taken, which is the characteristic high-pitched inspiratory whoops. In very serious stages, coughing may even result in vomiting or gagging.

Before there was a vaccine to cure whopping cough, it used to kill around 5,000 to 10,000 people in the US each year. Now the condition has improved with pertussis vaccine and the annual number of deaths have reduced to 30.

   

 

 

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