Whooping cough which is also known as pertussis is a highly contagious infection of the respiratory tract. It is a severe hacking cough that is followed by a high-pitched sound similar to a “whoop” in taking a breath.
Before the development of vaccines, whooping cough is a childhood disease. Death caused by whooping cough is common among infants. This is why it is important for pregnant women and other individuals to be vaccinated against whooping cough.
Symptoms of whooping cough
It takes about 7-10 days for the symptoms of whooping to manifest, but sometimes it takes longer and they are usually mild at first and similar to common cold. You can learn how to manage the symptoms by enrolling in a class on first aid today.
- Nasal congestion and runny nose
- Eyes are red and watery
- Fever and cough
Signs and symptoms that become worse such as thickened mucus inside the airways will cause uncontrollable coughing. Severe and prolonged coughing can cause reddish and bluish face which will also provoke the individual to vomit. The severe fatigue and constant coughing will end with a high-pitched “whoop” sound when taking the next breath of air. Some do not develop the distinctive “whoop” but a constant hacking cough is the only symptom that indicates that an adolescent or adult has the condition. Infants will not cough at all but struggle to breath or they may temporarily stop breathing.
Complications of whooping cough can be considered as side effects of the strenuous coughing such as abdominal hernias, bruised or cracked ribs and broken blood vessels found in the skin or on the white part of the eyes.
Complications of whooping cough in infants
- Slowed or cessation of breathing
- Seizures and brain damage
- Dehydration and loss of weight caused by difficulty in feeding
Treatment and home remedies
- Get plenty sleep in a cool, quiet and dark bedroom.
- Drink plenty fluids especially water, juice and soup. As for infants and children, watch out for indications of dehydration such as crying without tears, dry lips and frequent urination.
- In order to prevent vomiting after a cough, eat small, frequent meals instead of large ones.
- Keep the house free from irritants such as smoke of tobacco, fumes from fireplaces since they cause coughing spells.
- Cover the cough or wear a mask and wash hands frequently when in public places or with other people.
Other remedies for whooping cough
Mix 1 tablespoon of raw honey into a cup of fresh grape juice and drink it at least two to three times a day to help treat whooping cough.
Make a natural cough medicine by grinding 7 tablespoons of raisins and place in a saucepan and then add 7 tablespoons of honey and water. Let it simmer until it becomes a thick sauce-like consistency. Take a tablespoon of the mixture before going to sleep.
Eat an all fruit diet that are rich in vitamins and minerals since they are easy to digest and helps in eliminating toxins and bacteria caused by pertussis.