What is it?

Whooping cough is an acute infectious disease of the respiratory tract caused by the bacterium Bortadella Pertussis. The disease is transmitted by spraying airway droplets. The disease has three main stages:
Stage 1 - The catarrhal stage is the incubation stage of the bacterium, lasting between 3-12 days in which the patient feels non-specific symptoms such as congestion, cough, tears, redness in the conjunctiva and low fever. Blood test may indicate Leukocytosis and Lymphocytosis.
Stage 2- The paroxysmal stage (2-6 weeks) - This stage is unique to the disease. It starts as a dry cough that turns into whooping cough (during expirium), shortness of breath and vomiting. The person can apprear red or blue (cyanotic) at the time of the attack. Under 3 months of age classical symptoms are not always present, therfore, it is more difficult to diagnose. Dangerous signs are events that last over 45 seconds, cyanotic, lack of return to pre-attack blood saturation, lack of response to post-vomiting irritation.
Stage 3 - convalescent(1-2 weeks) - The coughing become less severe and less frequent.
Complications of whooping cough are pneumonia, dehydration, weight loss, sleep disorders, hospitalizations, seizures, encephalitis and where death.
In the first year of life there is an excessive risk of complications, hospitalizations and secondary bacterial pneumonia, the reason I love mortality.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Pertussis

Signs & symptoms

Early symptoms include a runny nose, low-grade feve, mild, occasional cough and in babies apnea, which is a pause in breathing may occur. In the second stage, symptoms include rapid coughs followed by a high-pitched "whoop" sound, vominting , and being axhausted after cauging. Caughing may also cause subconjunctival hemorrhages, rib fractures, urinary incontinence, hernias, and vertebral artery dissection.


If signs and symptoms raise suspicion for Whooping cough, aboratory diagnosis can help diagnose the disease. Nasopharyngeal swabs culture , polymerase chain reaction (PCR), direct fluorescent antibody (DFA), and serological methods are used to detect the bacteria.


Antibiotic treatment (azithromycin) for 14 days shortens the duration of the disease if it is given in the early stages of the disease. In the later stages, the goal of treatment is to reduce the infection to the environment. For the same reason, it is advisable to consider early preventive antibiotic treatment for the immediate environment. The pertussis vaccine is given at the ages of 2,4,6 and 12 months and in second and eighth grade. It is also recommended for pregnant women to get vaccinated between weeks 27-36. The purpose of the vaccine is to protect the baby, by passing antibodies through the placenta and later through breastfeeding, in addition to reducing the risk that the mother will start exposing the baby in its first months.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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