Whopping cough is a serious, contagious, bacterial infection of the bronchial tubes and lungs. The incidence of whooping cough has greatly decreased in the world due to immunization. It is most common in children.
Causes of Whooping Cough
Cause is due to infection with Bordetella pertussis bacteria. The disease is transmitted by direct contact with a contagious person. It is also spread by indirect contact, such as breathing air or handling contaminated articles. The incubation period is 5 to 7 days.
Signs and Symptoms of Whooping Cough
Symptoms of early stages include runny nose, dry cough that progresses to a cough with thick sputum, and slight fever. Symptoms of later stages include severe, continual coughing bouts that last up to 1 minute. The face turns red or blue from lack of oxygen while coughing. At the end of each coughing effort, the child gasps for breath with a whooping sound. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever also occur.
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Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
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