cough is highly contagious respiratory infection. The key symptom of whooping cough
that helps distinguish this illness from other respiratory infections is the
hacking, dry cough. This cough is marked by a high pitched inspiration, which
produces a "whooping" sound. Other symptoms include runny nose, dry cough and
low grade fever. If whooping cough goes undetected for more than one to two
weeks, it develops into a severe respiratory illness causing uncontrolled
coughing, fevers and difficulty breathing. Those at high risk of whooping cough
include infants and those who have not had proper immunizations. Whooping cough
is detected through a nasal swab or blood tests done at your local doctor's
office. Treatment of whooping cough is antibiotic therapy. Rest, increasing
fluid intake and humidified air also help control symptoms associated with
whooping cough. The best way to prevent whooping cough is obtaining the
pertussis vaccine. This vaccine is often given in combination with the tetanus
and diphtheria vaccine. Typical schedule for Dtap (diphtheria, pertussis, and
tetanus) vaccine is at the following ages: 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 15 months,
4 to 6 years and 11 to 12 years. Adults are encouraged to get the Dtap vaccine
every 10 years.
provided by Carin A. Bejarno, ARPN, of Grimes Family Physicians.
Article courtesy of Grimes Living Magazine.