What Is Whooping cough?
A whooping cough is also called as or a 100-day cough or or Pertussis. A whooping cough is an infectious disease of the respiratory system which is caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis. It is an airborne disease which is highly contagious in nature. It spreads easily from a cough and sneeze of an infected person. At the initial stage the symptoms are same as that of a common cough during cold but it last longer to about several weeks along with coughing fits. The coughing fits are often accompanied by the whoop sound while people breathe.
What Are The Symptoms Of Whooping cough?
At the initial stage, the symptoms of a whooping cough are same as that of a common cough. These symptoms last from 1 to 2 weeks. The symptoms of a whooping cough occur in 3 different stages.
Stage 1. Catarrhal stage: This stage lasts for 1-2 weeks. These includes:
- A runny nose, tiredness
- Low-grade fever, a mild or occasional cough
- Apnea in babies
- During this stage, doctors are not able to diagnose a whooping cough as it is like a common cold only.
Stage 2. Paroxysmal stage: This stage lasts from 1-6 weeks or can last up to 10 weeks also. At a later stage, where after 1 to 2 weeks as the disease progress the more severe symptoms appears indicating a whooping cough. These includes:
- Rapid cough followed by a sound, whoop
- Numerous fits of cough, vomiting
- Turning blue due to chronic and persistent cough
- The Infected person remains contagious till 2 weeks after the cough begins.
Stage 3. Convalescent stage: This stage may last for several months. During this stage, the cough starts reducing gradually. Now the infected person is no more contagious and becomes susceptible to other respiratory infections such as common cold. Spasms of coughing may return.
What Are The Causes Of Whooping cough?
A Whooping cough is a respiratory infectious disease caused by bacterium Bordetella pertussis. It is a serious contagious disease in which Infection occurs in the trachea and bronchi. The infectious bacterium gets attached to the cilia and multiplies.
This bacterium then releases harmful toxins which cause inflammation of the airways. The narrowing of the airways make difficult to breathe and the cough becomes more intense. This intense cough produces a sound called as “whoop”.
It can spread from the patient to another person through:
- Direct contact with the fluid from the mouth or nose of the infected person.
- Droplets from the mucus of infected person spread in the air, which can be inhaled by the other person.
What Are The Things One Should Do To Manage Whooping cough?
To prevent a whooping cough:
- Get your child vaccinated.
- Allow only vaccinated people to come in contact with infants.
- If you are pregnant do receive a vaccination against a whooping cough in your third trimester.
- Ensure that your child gets complete sets of vaccines at all these ages: 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 15 to 18 months, and 4 to 6 years.
- Do schedule a booster shot (Tdap) when immunity from the pertussis (a whooping cough) vaccine tends to wane
- at 11-12 years of age.
- All adults should also get Tdap (whooping cough booster) vaccine once.
If you or your child is diagnosed with a whooping cough then:
- Do take antibiotics on time as prescribed by the doctor
- Maintain proper hygiene by removing the irritants which triggers cough.
- Try to drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
- Take small meals over a period of time to avoid vomiting.
- Cover your mouth and nose while sneezing or coughing with cloth or tissue.
What Are The Things One Should Avoid To Manage Whooping cough?
- Don’t take cough medicines as these will not help much.
- Don’t come in contact with other people if you’re getting the treatment for a whooping cough until you complete the 3-week course of antibiotics as the disease is contagious and risk of spreading to others is also there.
What Are The Best Foods For Whooping cough?
Some of the best foods that can be taken during a whooping cough are:
- Fresh fruits and fresh fruit juices will help to prevent the whooping cough.
- Vitamin C and bioflavonoid supplements are very good as these reduce the paroxysmal stage of the disease.
- Feed infants with breast milk only.
- Chop 3-4 cloves of garlic to a glass of hot water and drink it.
- Add almond oil to the juice of ginger an white onion. This is supposed to be a very good recipe for whooping cough.
- Guava roasted in ashes or hot sand is a good remedy for the whooping cough.
- Grape juice mixed with honey and hot ginger tea is antimicrobial in nature and will provide relief from the infection causing cough.
What Are The Worst Foods For Whooping cough?
- Processed and refined foods should be avoided as these contain excess salt which can increase the cough.
- Avoid pickles, condiments, coffee, tea, sugar and meats as these will increase the mucus content.
- Avoid all products made from white flour and sugar causes fermentation which can increase the whooping cough.
- Avoid ice-cream, candies and soft drink as these can worsen the condition
What Are The Medicines For Whooping cough?
What Are The Tips To Manage Whooping cough?
Some changes in daily routine can help you to manage this disease.
- Take plenty of rest if you are infected as rest is essential for the recovery.
- Maintain proper healthy hygiene in your living area.
- Try yoga such as Pranayama, Shavasana, Nadi Shodhana Pranayama, Kapalbahati Pranayama, Bhramari Pranayama to prevent the disease.
- Try some natural home remedies to manage the whooping cough such as intake of ginger, lemon, honey, almonds can soothe the mucus.
- Take steam as much as possible.
- Use of a mist vaporizer can also be effective in making air more humid. It also helps to soothe the air and keep the irritants away.