Whooping cough is considered as a life-threatening infection among infants. It can result to apnea, feeding issues, weight loss, pneumonia, seizures, damage to the brain and even death. Remember that older children and adults with the condition can pass it on to infants.
What are the indications?
- Starts as common cold with a runny or congested nose along with mild fever, tiredness and cough.
- The cough worsens and severe episodes of overwhelming coughing occurs. These episodes can be followed by choking, vomiting or taking gasping breaths. The cough might last for several weeks and becomes worse at night time.
- Some newborns might not cough but cease to breath and turn bluish in appearance. In some cases, there is difficulty feeding and might even gag or choke.
- Older children and adults might have cough that lasts for several weeks without the whooping sound.
How does it spread?
It is important to note that whooping cough can spread if an infected individual releases the bacteria into the air while sneezing or coughing that can be inhaled by others nearby. If treatment is not started, those who have whooping cough are considered infectious in the initial 3 weeks.
How to deal with whooping cough
If an individual has been exposed to an infected individual during the infectious phase, monitor for symptoms and consult a doctor if a new cough develops. Some infants and pregnant women require antibiotics to prevent the infection if in contact with an infected individual.
The commonly used treatment measures include the following:
- Some infants might require treatment in a healthcare facility.
- Antibiotics are utilized in treating whooping cough in the early phases and can prevent spreading it to others. Those who do not receive immediate treatment with the appropriate antibiotics can spread the infection in the initial 3 weeks of the condition. After 5 days of using antibiotics, the individual is no longer contagious.