Whooping Cough


CONDITIONS

Whooping Cough

Also known as pertussis, whooping cough is a very contagious respiratory infection that primarily affects young children and teenagers. Initial symptoms of whooping cough are similar to those of a common cold, including mild fever, a dry cough, sneezing and runny nose, sinus congestion, and irritated, watery eyes. Within one or two weeks, the patient may become extremely fatigued and their cough may end with a “whooping” sound that results from the sudden intake of air. Pertussis can be diagnosed with a physical exam and medical history along with the testing of a mucus sample obtained via a swab of the back of the throat. A blood test may also be administered. Treatment is via antibiotic medications, and is ideally started as soon after symptoms develop as possible in order to keep the illness from progressing. Whooping cough can be avoided by getting the DTap vaccine as a child and the Tdap vaccine booster in later years.
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