Whooping Cough

Whooping Cough is a coughing disease that is easily passed from one child to another. It can be referred to as Pertussis.  In some countries, it is called – the cough of a 100 days.

Whooping Cough is often caused by a bacteria called Bordetella Pertussis. It is most often seen in children and infants. But it is becoming increasingly diagnosed in adults – which previously was a rare finding of this disease.

The primary symptom of Pertussis is a cough that can be characterized by a high-pitched – whooping cough.  Other symptoms my be fever, chills, fatigue, and more.

Prevention of this disease is important and is part of the vaccine program. Whooping Cough is covered in childhood and adult vaccines – DTP and DTaP.

The prevalence of occurrence of this disease in the United States is most often seen prior to 6 months and 11 years to 18. One theorized reason for this – is that these ages are either prior to the vaccination and when the vaccine might be wearing off.

Important and Interesting Fact: 90% of all cases Worldwide happen in Third World Countries

This shows a clear link to the prevention of this condition through vaccines. Unfortunately, this also means that Third World Countries are experiencing far greater problems in getting the vaccine. It is estimated that worldwide – some 49 million individuals are affected resulting in just less than 300,000 deaths every year. Each year – the vaccination saves more than 500,000 people.


–  Dry Cough  [initial cough]
–  Sneezing
–  Runny nose
–  Fever
–  Whoop-like cough is often seen in fits of 5-10 and can last up to 1 minute
–  Vomiting
–  Nausea
–  Fatigue
–  Weight-loss

Coughing mucus onto another person is often the mode of transmission

Symptoms begin to arise up to several weeks after initial contact with someone with whooping cough

But other contact with mucus can be a mode of transmission


–  It is usually done through a culture of nasal swabs
–  Bacteria can only be found in the first 3 weeks



–  Helps initiate immunity
–  Does not last a lifetime
–  Booster shots are often required
–  Vaccine was developed in 1925
–  1942 was added with diphtheria and tetanus


–  Contact a medical provider when symptoms become worse or when you suspect whooping cough or when your child has been around someone with whooping cough and your child begins to have symptoms.
–  Steroids to improve breathing

Antibiotics (If required)

.         Erythromycin
.         Azithromycin
.         Clarithromycin
.         Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole

Home treatment may include:

–  Plenty of fluids
–  Plenty of rest
–  Cough syrup – depending on age