What is pertussis?
Pertussis, or whooping cough, is a highly contagious airborne disease of the respiratory system and can occur in children, adolescents, and adults of any age, unless they are vaccinated. The frequency of the occurrence in the U.S. are very promising, as annually there are 5,000 to 7,000 people diagnosed with pertussis.
How does pertussis transmit to others?
- The bacteria can be caught directly from the infected person while he or she coughs or sneezes, and a healthy person inhales the tiny droplets of the mucus that scattered from the cough or sneeze.
- Touching contaminated surfaces and then touching one's eyes or mouth can also transmit the disease.
The symptoms usually last from seven to 10 days, but it can range up to three weeks depending on the initial resistance of the immune system. In rare cases, it may last as long as 42 days.
How do I know whether it is pertussis or simple bronchitis?
Bronchitis is a frequent companion of all virus and bacterial flu-like infections. It might not manifest at the beginning of the ailment; however, it develops on the place of the bug intrusion.
All mentioned symptoms are not found in pertussis and vice versa. They are the distinguishing features for the diagnostics when a qualified doctor decides whether it's a simple flu or pertussis.
When should I take my child to the hospital?
Do not keep your child at home under any circumstances. If a cough worsens and the skin on the face of your child becomes blue on the peak of a cough, as it might lead to apnea.