Whooping cough

Whooping cough.

Whooping cough — an acute infectious disease with inflammatory phenomena in the upper airways and paroxysmal spasmodic cough. The most commonly infected unvaccinated children under the age of 5 years, and is particularly dangerous for whooping cough in infants. At older ages, the infection process is much easier.

Whooping cough caused by a specific bacteria called Bordetella pertussis. The microbe is transmitted airborne by (coughing, sneezing, talking) in close contact with the sick person. The disease is highly contagious. However, the pin (for example, through a toy) route of transmission is not possible, since the bacterium dies quickly in the environment.

Immunity from illness produced a very stable and usually persists for life. Recurrent disease may occur in the elderly. However, as the rule is, the doctors are taking it for a cold — so easy runs disease.

What's going on?

Pertussis bacterium produces specific toxins, which cause irritation of the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract. As a result, develops and diaphragm muscle spasm of bronchi (bronchospasm), and a so-called spastic cough. The cough reflex is gradually strengthened in the respiratory center of the medulla oblongata (part of the brain), which leads to increased and more frequent bouts of coughing.

Incubation period (Time from infection to onset of symptoms) usually lasts one to two weeks. The disease begins gradually. Slightly raised body temperature, a cold start and a dry cough. In this phase of the disease, the parents often think that he is "a little thin air," and the child continues to go to school or daycare, infecting others. The cough gradually increases in intensity and duration, and goes into spastic. This hoop is so specific that a doctor is enough at least once to hear that there is a correct diagnosis.

When spasmodic fit of wheezing after inhalation followed by a series of short convulsive cough jerks that without stopping the follow each other during one exhalation. Sometimes these attacks are accompanied by vomiting, blueness or redness of the face, expectoration. Within one day, such attacks may be 20-30 or more, depending on the severity of the disease. The patient's face is puffy, the skin sometimes appear bleeding may start conjunctivitis, and sore tongue-tie is formed. Attacks of whooping cough can occur at any time of the day, but most of all — at night and in the morning.

As a rule, no coughing child's condition is not very different from normal. Body temperature remains normal. Increased body temperature during the spasmodic cough usually indicates the accession of complications.

The period of spasmodic cough lasts about 3-4 weeks or more, the number of seizures is gradually reduced and they become less intense. However, a small cough, weakness, irritability and nervousness children persist for the next few months.

The most frequent complication pertussis — is pneumonia, which is caused by other microbes — streptococci and staphylococci. The children of the first year of life whooping cough dangerous stops breathing during the attacks, the length of which varies from a few seconds to a few minutes.Because ofoxygen deficiency may develop their skeletal muscle spasms, encephalopathy, etc.

Other complications of bronchitis, pleurisy (inflammation of the pleura covering the lungs), suppurative otitis media, false croup. Occasionally there are severe complications that arise as a result of strong aftershocks cough (cerebral hemorrhage, rupture eardrums, pneumothorax, etc.).

Diagnosis and treatment

The diagnosis of pertussis exhibited in the presence of a typical cough. To accept it can be done sputum and mucus taken from the mucosa of the pharynx.

Treatment is generally carried out at home. Hospitalized with whooping cough rarely, mostly young children and patients with severe or complicated form of the disease.

Of great importance in the treatment of this disease takes on a fresh, moist air into the patient's room (frequent airing of the room), split meals (frequent eating small portions), the reduction of external stimuli to provoke cough (especially light and noise). At normal body temperature, useful walk in the fresh air (at temperatures below -10 º C).

Of the drugs Doctors usually prescribe antibiotics, antihistamines and cold preparations, and, sometimes, antipsychotics — to weaken spasmodic cough.


To date, the most effective measure against whooping cough is the introduction of DTP vaccine, introduced a mandatory vaccination schedule.

In identifying a child with whooping cough-quarantine for 2 weeks for previously vaccinated and do not recover from whooping cough in children younger than 7 years.


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