Looking closer at Whooping Cough

Whoop­ing cough (also known as per­tus­sis) is a res­pi­ra­tory tract infec­tion that affects mostly chil­dren, but can affect adults as well. Accord­ing to the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion, there were 48,277 cases of whoop­ing cough in the United States in 2012. Each year, there are 16 mil­lion cases world­wide, and the num­ber of peo­ple dying from whoop­ing cough is about 195,000. Here is some infor­ma­tion that will help you rec­og­nize this ill­ness, and take the right steps to avoid it or get rid of it.


In the begin­ning stages of whoop­ing cough, it will seem as if you have a cold. The symp­toms include: runny nose, sneez­ing, con­ges­tion, a fever, and a dry cough. As the infec­tion con­tin­ues, you will lose the cold symp­toms but have a cough that makes a whoop­ing noise as you breath in between coughs. You can­not con­trol your cough­ing, and you may even vomit. This hap­pens because mucus is build­ing in your air­ways, mak­ing it dif­fi­cult to breathe. Phys­i­cally, you may feel fine between cough­ing attacks, but it can make you feel extremely tired. Whoop­ing cough can last between 2 and 4 weeks.


In order to avoid con­tract­ing whoop­ing cough, the best thing to do is be vac­ci­nated when you are young. If you already are show­ing symp­toms, antibi­otics are nec­es­sary to help stop the infec­tion. Since it is con­ta­gious, make sure you are wash­ing your hands, cov­er­ing your mouth when you cough, and avoid­ing oth­ers to stop it from spread­ing to those around you.