> Whooping cough: duration, symptoms and care

Cough, seizure, cough, cough. These are some of the names that usually indicate the whooping cough. It is a bacillus, Bordetella pertussis, a small, egg-shaped, little resistant in the open air.

When forò enters the body through the inspired air, it settles in the tracheobronchial tree, on the mucosa, which is damaged, and then reacts inflamed and secreting phlegm.

pertussis (whooping cough), which typically affects under 5 years of ageà, è one of the childhood diseases such as the rubella, measles, mumps and chicken pox.

Stages of pertussis

The tracheobronchite, that is; the inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tubes, the first and important sign of the pertussis.

At the beginning is not nothing typical, and it seems that it’s a normal tracheobronchite: thereò è unfortunately very dangerous, becauseé in this period, with a cough, you throw up in the air, with the minute drops of saliva, the quantityà huge of germs that can further spread the infection.
In this stage, called the catarrhal, the symptoms that are advised are general malaise, cough, seizures of sneezing.

it is the cough characteristic of this disease, così typical that once listened to anyone who is able to recognize her.

The coughing is violent and close together and prevent you from taking a breath, until, in a brief pause, the sick purple and cyanotic, and make a short and violent inhalation.

This is forò is made while the glottis (i.e., the “valve” located at the beginning of the trachea) is almost" closed in a spasm and then the air, passing through the narrow slit, it causes a characteristic noise, compared by the French to “cry of the cock”.

After the excesses of the coughing resumed as before, and così via for più times.

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The access of cough, convulsive uncontrollable repeated più times in the course of the day up to 10-20 and more. Sometimes just the slightest thing to provoke him to anger, as a race, the laugh, the cry, a reproach, an emotion, and può be followed by vomiting.

At the end of the access the child (becauseé the disease affects preferably children) is cyanotic, sweaty, exhausted. Are not rare hemorrhages of the skin and mucous membranes, there is often ulceration of the frenum of the tongue, violently thrust against the lower incisors. Sometimes occurs uncontrolled loss of faeces and urine.

In the first two-three weeks of this phase (called a seizure) the crisis of coughing are frequent. Go slowly away, generally, from the fourth week onwards, but the duration of the disease does not have terms fixed: sometimes, after six weeks, the disease and still completely in place and does not disappear before the next two to three months; in other cases, up to six weeks, the subject can; già to consider healed.

Varies form

As già said, the disease affects preferably children, especially between two and five years of age. The contagiosità of whooping cough is very high and linked to the spread of the bacillus of Bordet-Gengou with the droplets of sputum. No shortage of sick people among adults, in whom the course of illness and less acute than is the dramatic.

In children, in addition to forms of media, gravityà (a duration of between 2 and 4 weeks, from seven to 15 hits per day), there are some exceptionally serious (long course and especially many hits per day, up to several tens), and other fortunately, the più mild, with two to three hits a day, often causing vomiting, a crisis of profuse sweating or other disturbances.

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If the framework of whooping cough can; be’s" serious enough, it becomes even moreù in the occasion of complications.
Among the più frequent and dangerous is bronchopneumonia, in which the spread of the inflammatory process in the bronchioles and to the alveoli of the lungs, the branches in più thin and internal respiratory tree.

Più frequent in gender, to the third and fourth week of the disease, bronchopneumonia presents with high fever, sunken eyes, breath hard, even outside of crisis, intense prostration, or hands shaking.


In whooping cough that starts to healing are gradually narrowing of access, which are becoming more and more rare and less violent, does not cause the più vomiting, do Not occur more than night. Slowly the disease will disappear.

A sign, however, remains sometimes still for a certain time, for a year, and also più: the character accessionale of the cough. Also on the occasion of a simple laryngitis, or of a simple tracheobronchite, the child who has passed recently the whooping cough coughing almost in the same way, though of course there are real convulzioni and the accesses do not follow each other quickly.

those Who pass the disease remains with a immunityà specifies, however, that it is definitive, but declines over time.

How do you care

Also for whooping cough, and valid the principle that the best care and the prevention, può be made, especially avoiding contact with those sick people. Thereò è forò difficult becauseé the period più contagious, è the catarrhal, the less typical of the disease.

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another weapon of prophylaxis is that of the vaccination. It is not dà immunityà safe, forò the child vaccinated has remarkable ability to escape the contagion, and, anyway, if you contract the disease, its course is at least very più light and più short of that of non-vaccinated.

Between treatments of antibiotics can have a good success when used at a very early stage (very difficult thing), becauseé in the following, when the first symptoms appear, the germs have già irreparably damaged the respiratory mucosa.

some efficacy are aerosols of antibiotics or the administration of gamma-globulins specific extracted, that is; from the blood serum of persons who have passed pertussis (whooping cough), and then have specific antibodies against the disease.

Sometimes they can be useful in the treatment climate, such as the living room in climates in the mountains or even hilly.

of Course, administer to the sick, soothing the cough, and drugs that promote a normal breathing.

Pertussis in infants

In infants, whooping cough, it takes a matter of particular seriousnessà. First of all, the baby is practically helpless to whooping cough. Once contracted, the disease causes the typical accesses, in which, forò often the characteristic scream inspiratory and replaced by a disturbing phase of apnea (absence of breath).

vomiting is very frequent and può seriously damage the small, delicate body.

The baby, the seriousnessà of the disease, può be affected by seizures (from here the name “cough seizure”).

The più serious and frequent complications that may occur is always the bronchopneumonia that develops early, and può to have a rapid course and grave.


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June 10, 2016