Whooping cough: An infection that can be prevented.

In this blog we will talk about whooping cough, a bacterial disease that affects the respiratory tract. Whooping cough owes its name to the noise produced when trying to breathe after a coughing fit, in some cases it can lead to pneumonia and other complications for the health of children, so it is relevant to inform and raise awareness about this disease.

Content

  1. What is whooping cough and what causes it?
  2. How can I get whooping cough?
  3. What are the symptoms of whooping cough?
  4. What should I do if I have the symptoms?
  5. Is there a way to prevent whooping cough?

1.What is whooping cough and what causes it?

Whooping cough is a disease caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis that affects the upper and lower respiratory tract.

2. How can I get whooping cough?

Because it is a disease only of humans, transmission occurs when it comes into contact with microdroplets secreted by an infected person when he or she coughs or sneezes. People who get the infection can spread it to others over a 3-week period if they don’t receive treatment.

3. What are the symptoms of whooping cough?

Once you come into contact with the bacteria, there may be a period in which the person has no symptoms ranging from 4 to 21 days (called the incubation period). The disease has two stages once symptoms begin:

Catarrhal stage: In this stage that can last 1 to 2 weeks, it is characterized by the presence of runny nose (rhinorrhea), fever (temperature over 38 degrees), general malaise and occasional cough.

Paroxysmal stage: With a duration of up to 6 weeks, it is characterized by the presence of cough in fits (long coughing episodes sometimes associated with vomiting (emesis)), stridor (noise that occurs in the larynx when breathing), cyanosis (bluish coloration of the skin) and the presence of shortness of breath after the episodes.

It is during the last stage that complications such as pneumonia and in severe cases death occur.

4. What should I do if I have the symptoms?

The obligation of all people who present symptoms compatible with the disease is to consult their doctor as soon as possible, who will decide which tests will be the most useful and will determine the most appropriate medical treatment (usually antibiotics).

There are also some recommendations generated by the CDC (Communicable Disease Center) for management at home once your doctor has made the diagnosis and started the appropriate treatment that you can find at the following link https://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/ about / diagnosis-treatment-sp.html 

5. Is there a way to prevent whooping cough?

Yes, the disease can be prevented in a number of ways including:

Vaccination: It is the most effective way to protect children and adolescents.

Hygiene: Proper hand washing reduces the risk of contagion. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, throw the used tissue in the trash can. Cover your cough or sneeze with the top of the arm or elbow, and not the hands, if you do not have a tissue. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

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