Whooping Cough (Pertussis)

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Whooping cough is an acute, infectious respiratory disease. It affects individuals of all ages, particularly in children and those under 5 years of age. The most typical symptom is persistent coughing spells. It is a common disease all over the world. In this article, we aimed to talk about the symptoms, causes, and treatment of this very common disease.

The first period of symptoms of the disease is nasal flow, eye streaming, weakness, mild upper respiratory symptoms such as low fever.

Death is common in very young infants.

How does whooping cough spread?

A bacterium causes whooping cough. Bacteria is taken by respiration causes disease after an incubation period of 7-10 days (4-21 days). It’s very contagious. Settles in the throat. If hygienic conditions, ie cleaning rules, are not well, contamination and then epidemics occur. In societies with low socioeconomic status, there is an increase in cases of mass living areas, living in crowded groups, inadequate and poor nutrition conditions.

What is the Infectious Period for Whooping Cough?

The only known source is humans. The disease occurs in unprotected individuals 1-2 weeks after taking bacteria.

Whooping cough does not depend on a specific geographical location but is common all over the world. Although it does not have seasonal characteristics, it can be seen more in the last spring months.

Why is it important to avoid Whooping Cough?

It is a common disease that causes epidemics every 3-4 years. It holds very young babies and causes infant deaths in the early stages of life. The diagnosis of the disease can be sometimes difficult. So sometimes parents and experts can overlook due to mild infections. As it can cause widespread epidemics, it is a serious public health problem for families and children.

What are the ways of protection from whooping cough?

Vaccination is the only way to prevent the disease. It is a highly effective vaccine. Since 1985, effective vaccination studies have shown significant reductions in the number of cases. In societies because of low vaccination rates and unvaccinated individuals, the disease continues to occur and causes deaths.

How is whooping cough treatment?

In whooping couch treatment, infants younger than 6 months of age usually need to stay in hospital and intensive care treatment. Using antibiotics is essential in this process. Because the disease is severe in young babies. Respiratory distress and feeding difficulties can occur. In some cases, the use of corticosteroids may be necessary to relieve coughing spells.

What is Pertussis Vaccine Application Calendar?

Vaccination is performed from the 2nd month of life. It is among the five vaccines (Diphtheria + Whooping cough + Tetanus + Polio + Hemophilus Influenza B). Other doses are performed at 4 and 6 months. There is also a repeat dose at 18 months. A total of 4 doses are performed.

There is one more dose for primary school 1st grade. Application in primary school is a combination of 4 vaccines (Diphtheria + Whooping cough + Tetanus + Polio).

What are the side effects of the vaccination?

Rarely, there may be redness, swelling, and pain at the vaccination area. Children may have crying attacks. A slight fever may occur.

It is recommended not to be used in individuals with unknown or progressive central nervous system disease or disorder.

PS: Image of the post cited from Penn Medicine

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