Whooping cough also known as Pertussis in medical terms is a bacterial infection marked by violent coughing. Repeated coughs are the first sign of this disease and the person may feel difficult to breathe.
Whooping cough is caused by bacteria by name Bordetella pertussis and is a serious disease which may produce permanent disability in children and in particular on infants. The disease is contagious and spreads easily by the droplets of cough through air. The infection may persist up to 6 weeks.
The infection starts with common cold and runny nose but may turn severe within a week. You can see the signs of whooping cough with “whoop” noise when the child coughs repeatedly. Difficulty in breathing, slight fever, vomiting and diarrhea are other symptoms of this infectious disease. Choking problem is quite common in infants when infected with this bacterium.
Treatment should be started early to control the growth of bacteria. Erythromycin is the antibiotic given for controlling whooping cough. But if the child is diagnosed late, this medicine may not be effective.
Infants with whooping cough are to be hospitalized since they are under the risk of shortness of breath. The doctor will analyze the condition of the child and may start intravenous fluids and if needed give breathing support.
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