A whooping cough (also referred to as Pertussis) is a bacterial infection, caused by a bacterium known as Bordetella pertussis which is a highly contagious disease. Whooping cough is one of the leading causes of vaccine-preventable deaths. There are 30 to 50 million cases of Pertussis per year. Of these millions of cases, there are about three hundred thousand deaths each year. Basically, all of these deaths occur in children under twelve months of age. Another quick statistic is that of these 30 to 50 million cases, 90%o occur in developing countries.

The disease was easily and widely recognized in as early as 1578. It was later isolated in pure culture in 1906 by Octave Gengou and Jules Bordet. The complete Pertussis genome of 4,086,186 base pairs was sequenced in 2002. Initially, the Whooping Cough is characterized by mild respiratory infection symptoms. These symptoms include a cough, sneezing, and runny nose. This initial stage lasts for about one to two weeks. After this first two-week period the cough changes character, with paroxysms of coughing followed by a “whooping” sound. Often times, these coughing fits are followed by vomiting. This constant coughing and vomiting in several cases lead to malnutrition. Coughing fits gradually go away over the first one to two months. Other complications of the disease include pneumonia, encephalitis, pulmonary hypertension, and secondary bacterial superinfection.

Whooping cough is spread by contact with an airborne discharge from the mucous membranes of an infected person. The disease is treated with antibiotics like erythromycin, azithromycin, and clarithromycin. These antibiotics result in the person becoming less infectious but in the majority of cases does not change the outcome of the disease,

Immunizations for whooping cough are often combined and given with tetanus and diphtheria immunizations. These immunizations are given to infants at ages 2, 4, and 6 months, and later at 15 to 18 months and 4 to 6 years. Many cases of Whooping cough in adults will go unnoticed and diagnosed due to the fact that it is much less severe. ln some states, all children are required by law to be vaccinated. They may not be allowed to enter the schoolroom until they have received the relevant vaccinations.

Commonly, the “tickle in the throat” that leads to a cough is caused by postnasal drip from colds, influenza, or allergies. However, there can be other causes that are more serious. pertussis (or whooping cough) is an infection characterized by a severe cough in which there is difficulty in breathing during coughing episodes and bronchitis is a painful inflammation of the bronchial tubes. Pneumonia, a very serious inflammation or infection of the lungs, can be viral, bacterial, or fungal. It is imperative to note that if a cough persists for more than a week, tends to recur, or is accompanied by a fever, rash, or a persistent headache, it could be a sign of a serious condition, and you should consult a healthcare professional. With coughing, conventional allopathic medicines simply stifle and restraint, rather than allow the body to address the cause. Drugstore and grocery store shelves are lined with cough suppressants, and this temporary solution can be quite counterproductive.

Instead of suppressing a cough, homeopathy activates the body’s natural healing potential and causes it to respond naturally to the underlying causes of a cough. All natural, homeopathic formulas work safely without any side effects or known drug interactions. While your body is affecting its defense against a common cough, the following may help to comfort and lessen the effects:

  • Dry air often makes coughs worse; use a cool-mist vaporizer in the bedroom, especially during winter when the air tends to be drier.
  • Warm liquids, such as herbal teas, relax the airways and loosen coughs.
  • Salt-water nose drops help loosen the thick nasal mucus in the throat.
  • Tobacco smoke, first-hand or passive, will make a cough worse.

WHOPPING COUGH SYMPTOMS

whooping cough

Pertussis is caused by the caused by bacteria named Bordetella pertussis, which can be transmitted from an infected person to person through the air or released by the patient’s sputum. The bacteria can exist in the environment around us and people who have low body resistance is very susceptible to infection with these bacteria, including children. Outbreaks occur every three to four years.

Common symptoms of this disease usually appear 5-20 days, after people are infected and they’re characterized by flu, coughs, colds, sore throats and usually accompanied by fever. This disease could occur in infants, children or adults.

This disease is very dangerous if it occurs in infants because there is research in the UK that showed 1 of the 500 infants died from pertussis disease. Treatment should be done as early as possible to prevent complications. Some complications that arise in infants include:

  • Infection of the lungs (pneumonia) if the bacteria enter the lungs;
  • Shortness of breath;
  • Bleeding in the eyes of the tension which occurs when a persistent cough;
  • Seizures due to oxygen in the brain decreases;
  • The most severe, the infants end in death because of this disease

First Stage Symptoms (10-20 days)

  • A cough leading to wheezing with coughing of bubbly sputum.
  • Copious nasal discharge. Second Stage (40-50 days)

Second Stage (40-60 days)

  • Convulsive coughing, followed by croup; better in the daytime, worse at night.

Third stage: Recovery (20-30 days)

  • Reduced and weak cough, little or sputum
  • Body is weak and tired.
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Spontaneous sweating
  • Poor appetite or choosy about food
  • Distended abdomen
  • Watery stools
  • Copious, pale urine
  • A child may present with hot feet and hands, dry cough, night sweats, and irritability, but it is less common

HERBAL REMEDIES

Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are effective and safe treatments to provide full recovery for your little one. Integrating Western and Eastern medicine is the ideal protocol for pertussis.

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) views pertussis as also caused by poor diets, irregular feeding,  damp climates, overuse of antibiotics, as well as bacterial infection. TCM protocols have been used for 5000 years and offer gentle, effective solutions for your child.

TCM offers more holistic, natural and safe treatment. Harsh drugs have long-term effects on the liver and kidneys. Repeatedly placing your child on western medicine can be problematic to their overall state of good health. lt offers safe antibacterial, antiviral herbs. An herbal formula, made specifically and comprehensively for your child is made addressing multiple symptoms safely. TCM reduces cough and sputum, nourishes the lungs, returns body fluids to normal levels, and rebuild and support your child’s immune system. TCM resolves pertussis and your child can recover more quickly. Western medicine provides antibiotic relief, and assuages the side effects of a cough and sputum, while TCM seeks to dissolve the mucus, restores the lungs; returning the body back to homeostasis (balance/optimum health). TCM resolves the root cause.

PREVENTION OF A WHOOPING COUGH

  • Avoid people who are infected
  • Immediate early detection if you have a cough that is accompanied by shortness of breath
  • Conduct vaccination DPT {Diphtheria Pertussis Tetanus). The vaccine is significant enough to prevent pertussis.

DTP and Whooping coughWhooping cough illness cannot be cured naturally, without the help of drugs like antibiotics. And it’s wiser to detect the disease as early as possible to prevent the occurrence of complications in infants and adults.

If a parent (or guardian) thinks a child may have contracted whooping cough, contact a pediatrician immediately. Usually, this condition can only be treated with a round of antibiotics, and it is best to make sure the child takes the fully scheduled round. This treatment is only effective if it is diagnosed within the first few weeks of infection. If the symptoms persist or it seems they are getting worse, contact the pediatrician as quickly as possible so that the treatment can begin. ln some children, it may not take much for the condition to turn into pneumonia. At times like these, the best diet for your child includes light meals such as soups and boiled or steamed vegetables. Make sure your child stays hydrated with plenty of water or juice. Keep them as comfortable as possible. It might help to run a vaporizer at night to keep nasal and bronchial passages clear and moisturized as well.

WHOOPING COUGH VACCINE

A whooping cough can be frightening, but it is treatable. Vaccination is the best defense, as is frequent hand washing and basic hygiene practices. As always, contact a doctor if a child is suspected to have a whooping cough. As an adult, you should be re-vaccinated every 10 years. Many cases are mild and the sufferers may simply think they have a cold.

FDA approved two new combination pertussis- diphtheria-tetanus vaccines, one for adolescents only (Boostrix) and one for adolescents and adults (Adacel). These are similar to the pediatric formula but contain less pertussis antigen. Recommendations are evolving, so as always, do talk to your doctor to see what is currently recommended.

The pertussis vaccine, which is already given routinely to infants, is first given at 2 months of age, then 4, anil 6 months of age, with an additional booster at 15 to 18 months of age, and then again at 4 to 6 years old.

The vaccines for Bortella pertussis bacteria, which causes a whooping cough, does not confer lifelong immunity. ln other words, fully vaccinated children who then become teenagers and then adults lose immunity, can acquire the infection and then spread it. Should babies acquire pertussis, as the public has discovered, it can be deadly. The persistent cough tires the baby causes difficulty breathing and can make them turn blue or cyanotic resulting in pneumonia or convulsions. According to CDC, about half of children aged 1 year and younger need to be hospitalized if infected with the illness. Although older children and adults can handle a cough, the infection can cause them to cough for weeks or months.

ln 2005, a new vaccine known as DTaP not only provides protection for both tetanus and diphtheria but also pertussis. The DTaP vaccine replaces the dT vaccine and it is recommended that pre-teens starting at age 11, adolescents, and adults up to age 65 get the DTaP vaccine as the booster every 10 years rather than the dT.

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