whooping cough

whooping cough

[hoo-ping, hoop-ing]

Whooping cough is a respiratory infection that is highly contagious. This causes people to experience severe coughing that is followed by a high-pitched intake of breath. This infection is most common in young children who did not receive full vaccinations and adults with decreased immunity. There are treatments to help speed the process of recovery.

Signs and symptoms usually begin to appear around one to three weeks after infection. Initial symptoms include a runny nose, dry coughing, nasal congestion, sneezing, watery eyes and fever. Symptoms worsen after a couple weeks when thick mucus begins to build up, which causes severe, uncontrollable coughing. This can lead to vomiting, a change in color of the face, fatigue and a high-pitched whooping sound during breathing.

With the right treatments, most people recover from this infection. However, there are those who experience longs periods of strenuous coughing that can lead to side effects and complications. Bruised or cracked ribs, abdominal hernias and broken blood vessels in the skin or eyes can occur. Possible complications for infants under the age of six months include ear infections, dehydration, pneumonia, breathing problems, seizures and brain damage.

Whooping cough is usually treated at home with prescribed medications. Young children, especially babies and infants, usually require hospitalization. They are confined in an isolated room to prevent the infection from spreading and receive intravenous fluids to stay hydrated. For others, antibiotics are given to take at home to fight the infection and to fasten the recovery process. Over-the-counter medications are known to have very little or no effect, so they are not recommended.

It is advised to follow these tips when dealing with whooping cough. It is important to get plenty of rest, perhaps in a quiet, dark room that promotes relaxation. Drinking fluids, such as water, juices and soups, are known to have great effects. Vaporizing the room with a mist can help soothe the lungs for easier breathing.

Whooping cough is highly contagious and requires treatment in order to fight the infection. It is crucial to seek treatment right away to avoid risks and complications. For more information, visit this website: http://www.gilacountyaz.gov/health/nursing/whoppingcough.html

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