Thursday, August 26, 2010

Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

Getting a phone call from my husband telling me one of my sons friends in his room at day care was sent home and has whooping cough is a little scary.  I know it isn't life threatening, but have you ever heard the sound of a whooping cough?  It is down right disturbing!  I have seen more public service announcements talking about getting vaccinated, but I never really paid much attention to it because I knew my son was getting the vaccine.  I never really thought about getting it myself, but now everyone is saying that adults should get re-vaccinated.  While I was at the doctors the other day, I got my much needed tetanus shot, which now includes the pertussis vaccine. 

Doing some research, since my sons doctor told us that if we see any signs within 21 days to contact the office so he can be treated, I not only was able to listen to the sounds the cough makes I also learned a little more about the bacteria.  First thing is that it is a bacteria and not a virus so it can be treated with antibiotics. Good news!  Also, it can last anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months, which is a really long time.  It is the most contagious in the first 2 weeks, but the symptoms are the same as if you had a cold with a slight dry cough so you really wouldn't know or even think that you may have the whooping cough.  And even worse is only 50% of people even get the 'whoop' that follows the cough, so how would you even know that you have the whooping cough and not just a bad cold?  Well you could just stop breathing and turn blue for a little bit. I think even though the 'whoop' sounds really bad, I would rather have the 'whoop'.

After the first 2 weeks, then the symptoms get worse and you may then get the 'whoop'. (I highly suggest that you listen to what it sounds like, even though I must warn is disturbing.  You can listen at, you can also find more information about it there.) The cough can sometime last for a long time, you basically have coughing fits, and in between you may feel fine.  I must say if your child ever gets the cough with the 'whoop' you will not question calling the doctor, you will think your child is gasping for air and can't breathe.

The Dangers of Whooping Cough (Pertussis)

Just a side note to keep in mind:

I strongly believe that vaccines do more good then they do harm.  I don't understand why a parent (who has probably been vaccinated) is willing to put their child in danger by not vaccinating?  Yes, there are people who blame vaccines for their child's autism or other problems and yes maybe there is a minuet change that is can assist in those problems.  But really, I would rather my child be healthy and autistic then dead because she got a bad case of the whooping cough. And as more and more parents waive the vaccines and more and more people enter this country that aren't properly vaccinated the more viruses, bacterias and diseases will re-occur.  Today Pertussis is back, what's next? Polio?