• 07 MAR 18
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    Whooping cough risks and complications

    Whooping cough risks and complications

    Whooping cough (also called Pertussis) is a highly contagious infectious disease, which results into uncontrollable violent coughing. High pitched whooping sound is also produced while taking a breath after a cough. There are many other risks and complications associated with a whooping cough such as lung infections, pneumonia, pulmonary hypertension, dehydration, hernia, injuries such as break down of ribs or blood vessels, ear infections, etc. The complications may vary in infants, children and adults. The complications of a whooping cough are serious health issues which can be dangerous if not treated well on time.

    Let’s find out the risk and complication of whooping cough:

    Whooping cough complications in infants and children:

    Whooping cough can lead to severe and serious complications in infants and children especially in those who have not received the vaccinations. Babies less than one year of age need to be taken care in the hospital if diagnosed with whooping cough. The infants and children diagnosed with whooping cough are at risk of developing:

    1. Lung infections: Pneumonia
    2. Convulsions or seizures
    3. Encephalopathy
    4. Apnea
    5. Sudden unexpected death
    6. Dehydration
    7. Weight loss
    8. Vomiting


    Whooping cough complications in teenagers and adults:

    Generally teenagers and adults recover from a whooping cough but still, they can have the further complications related to whooping cough. At the older age, the complications are less serious, especially among those who have received the vaccinations. The complications include:

    1. Violent coughing can cause break down or fracture in the rib.
    2. Hernias
    3. Break down of blood vessels in the skin
    4. Loss of control of the bladder
    5. Passing out due to a severe and violent cough


    Whooping cough complications during pregnancy:

    Whooping cough, if diagnosed during pregnancy, can put the baby at risk. Infants can suffer from pneumonia or have trouble breathing after birth. The risk of developing lung infection is more. The younger the baby is, the more likely he/she is at risk of developing whooping cough and other related complications.

    The women are advised to take vaccination during their every pregnancy. It is very important for women to get pertussis vaccination in the third trimester of their pregnancy. The most favourable time is during early pregnancy or during 27th to 36th week of pregnancy. Getting vaccination is the best way to prevent this deadly disease.

    The shot of vaccine generates protective antibodies. These antibodies then pass through the placenta to the baby which protects him against a whooping cough in their early period of life after birth. Not only this, these antibodies help to protect them from further complications which can result from whooping cough.

    It is recommended to take the whooping cough vaccine during pregnancy and not after giving birth because it takes around 2 weeks for the antibodies to pass on to your baby. This will give the early protection to your newborn baby. Also newborn baby is at more risk of developing whooping cough in his early days and he is not ready for the vaccination before 2 months. So getting vaccination during pregnancy will have to protect the infant from infection. When he gets 2 months old, then vaccination can be given to him also.

    Looking at the complications, it becomes necessary to get the vaccination against a whooping cough before it occurs. As it is wisely said, “prevention is better than cure”. Get proper immunization and save yourself and your society from this contagious disease and its related complications.

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