UNDERSTANDING WHOOPING COUGH
Symptoms of a whooping cough
Generally, symptoms of a whooping cough will occur between 7 days to 21 days after Bordetella pertussis bacteria enter the person’s respiratory tract. The development of symptoms of a whooping cough has three stages, especially in infants and young children:
- The first stage (early symptoms): mild symptoms such as the runny and stuffy nose, sneezing, watery eyes, sore throat, mild cough, and fever. This stage can last up to two weeks, and in this stage, the patient is at risk of transmitting whooping cough to people around him.
- Second Stage (paroxysmal period):This stage is characterized by alleviation of flu symptoms, but a cough is even worse and uncontrollable. At this stage occurs a continuous loud cough that begins a long breath through the mouth ( whoop ). After the cough attack, the patient may experience vomiting (usually in infants and children) and the body is exhausted. This stage can last two to four weeks or more.
- Phase Third (healing period):this stage the patient’s body starts to improve, but the symptoms of a whooping cough still exist even the patient can cough harder. This recovery stage can last up to two months or more depending on treatment.
Here are some conditions that should immediately receive a doctor’s treatment:
- Infants aged 0-6 months look very unhealthy.
- You or your child has trouble breathing.
- You or your child have serious complications, such as seizures or pneumonia.
- Cut out the sound when you inhale.
- Vomiting from severe whooping cough.
- The body becomes reddened or blue.
The cause of whooping cough
Bordetella pertussis bacteria that spread through the air is the cause of the onset of a whooping cough. These bacteria enter and then attack the walls of the trachea and bronchus (tracheal branching leading to the right and left lung).
Diagnosis of a whooping cough
A whooping cough is still in the early stages quite difficult to diagnose because flu or bronchitis have symptoms that are almost similar. Usually from the symptoms of a cough in the patient and listen to the resulting cough sound, the doctor was able to diagnose a whooping cough.
- Blood test. The doctor will identify an increase in white blood cells. Also to find Bordetella pertussis bacterial antibodies in the patient’s blood.
- A sampling of mucus from the nose or throat. The doctor will examine whether the patient mucus containing the bacteria Bordetella pertussis.
- X-ray imaging. The goal is to see if the lung sufferers experience inflammation or fluid buildup. This condition can occur when whooping cough has complications with pneumonia or other respiratory infections.
Treatment of a whooping cough
Be careful if taking any over-the-counter medications to treat a whooping cough. Because many types of cough medicine on the market that was less powerful to treat a whooping cough. Even the drug can not relieve symptoms of a cough.
- To cure symptoms of fever and sore throat, you can take ibuprofen or paracetamol.
- To avoid dehydration, it is advisable to drink plenty of water.
- Remove all mucus or vomiting when coughing so that the patient does not choke or inhale again.
- It is recommended to rest a lot.
Complications of a whooping cough
Whooping cough sufferers who are at greater risk of complications are infants and children. Complications that may occur in both children and adults are:
- Discontinuous breathing.
- Dehydration and excessive weight loss from vomiting.
- Low blood pressure.
- Experiencing convulsions.
- Brain damage due to lack of oxygen supply to the brain.
- Kidney failure.
Complications that occur in infants under six months of age can be life-threatening, and they require immediate medical treatment at the hospital.
Prevention of a whooping cough
Pertussis vaccination is the best way to prevent a whooping cough. Usually, doctors give pertussis vaccine along with diphtheria, tetanus, polio vaccine (DPT vaccine) and Hib.
- At the age of 2 months.
- At the age of 4 months.
- At the age of 6 months.
- At the age of 1.5 to 2 years.
- At the age of 5 years.
The pertussis vaccine is very safe, but there are some side effects that appear after vaccination, such as pain, reddening, and swelling of the injected part. The chances of the baby will also become irritable, feverish, and often cry.
- Teenagers . Immunity pertussis vaccine will weaken from the time someone is 11 years old. Then the age becomes the right time to get a booster vaccination pertussis.
- Adult. Several types of tetanus and diphtheria vaccine given regularly every 10 years also have a function to protect against a whooping cough. This type of vaccine also reduces your risk of passing on whooping cough to the baby.
To avoid transmission of a whooping cough, the patient should rest the house to complete the dose of antibiotics given by the doctor. People who often interact with patients should be given precautions to avoid getting infected. Preventative measures against a whooping cough include antibiotics. Doctors can also provide a booster of pertussis vaccine.
- Pregnant women during the last trimester of pregnancy.
- Newborn baby.
- Infants aged under 1 year and have not received complete DPT vaccination.
- People with weak immune systems.
- People who have chronic diseases such as asthma or heart failure.
- Children under 10 years who have not been vaccinated DPT.
In addition, there are also groups that are prone to transmit, ie workers health facilities, social care, and child care. These people also need to be given precautions.