Whooping cough is also known as pertussis. It can affect children but it can be prevented with the help of vaccinations. Read on to learn more about whooping cough and various measures that can be taken for treating it.
Whooping cough attacks in an innocuous manner. Child will display symptoms like a runny nose, a cough and a slight temperature. This disease can be particularly dangerous for children under a year old. So it is important that your child be inoculated between 6 to14 weeks.
What are the causes of whooping cough or pertussis?
Bacteria known as Bordetella pertussis are responsible for causing respiratory disorder like whooping cough. Bordetella pertussis is very infectious bacteria. It attacks the upper respiratory system in the human body by sticking to the cilia which is tiny hair like extension which is lining the part of the upper respiratory system. These bacteria cause the airways to swell by releasing poison and damaging the cilia.
Pertussis or whooping cough can get easily transmitted from one person to another. It can get transferred if a person comes in contact with the cough or sneeze of the infected person. It can even get transferred by sharing the same space with the infected person for a longer time.
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 6 to 14 weeks. 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.
What is the schedule for whooping cough vaccination?
Whooping cough vaccination is given to children in form of a combination vaccine. This type of combination vaccine helps children develop immunity against diseases like diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (whooping cough). Five doses of this vaccination are given, the last two being the booster doses. The first three doses are given in the sixth, tenth and fourteenth week of babyâ€™s age respectively. The fourth dose which is a booster does is given to babies between fifteenth to eighteenth month of babyâ€™s age. The last booster does is given to the child between the age of four to six years. It is important to give all doses of DTP vaccine to the child including the booster dosses to protect the child from disease like diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough.
Not only DTP vaccination but also children must be given all other vaccinations in order to protect them to various dreadful disorders. To get updates on your childâ€™s vaccination due date, you can subscribe to our Vaccination Reminder which is based on the immunization schedule prescribed by Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP).
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- The Indiaparenting Team