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Whooping Cough (pertussis)

How does whooping cough differ from a normal cough

This disease attacks in an innocuous manner. The incubation period is about 5 to 14 days. Your child will display symptoms like a runny nose, a cough and a slight temperature. This can go on for as long as two weeks. Your child will have severe paroxysms of coughing and may find it difficult to breathe. This is how the disease gets its name as this is when the typical "whoop" occurs.

What is the prevention and treatment of this illness

This disease can be particularly dangerous for children under a year old. Therefore, it is important that your child be inoculated between 3 to 6 months. In rare cases, there is a possibility that bronchitis and pneumonia may develop.

If your child displays the above symptoms, call the doctor immediately. He will probably prescribe antibiotics, which if administered early enough can prevent the development of chest infections. He will also teach you how to tap your child's chest to loosen the phlegm that is accumulating there. Do your best to calm your child when she is coughing. If she is tense, she will find it difficult to breathe. Raise your child's head to make breathing easier. It may help to give your child small amounts of mashed food between coughing fits.


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