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Whooping cough (pertussis)

Whooping cough is also known as or pertussis is an infection that affects the respiratory system. Whooping cough is caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussi(also known as B. pertussis)

This can be very serious in babies under one year of age.

Symptoms of Whooping cough

It usually starts with a slight cough and some sneezing then develops into longer periods of coughing and breezy breathing and sometime vomiting. These symptoms are usually worse at night but can happen during the day aswell.

The whooping sound is so called when there is a long bout of coughing then the baby has a sharp intake of breath hence the whooping sound.

Treatment for Whooping cough

  • Try to give the child some fresh air.
  • Because of the vomiting – try to give the child small meals more regularly.
  • Keep a small bowl for sickness nearby. Wipe all sickness up immediately as this will lessen the spread of infection.
  • Try and be beside your child when they are having a coughing bout as this will comfort them.

Incubation period

Between 2 to 21 days.

Infectious period

The first few days before the onset of the cough right through until 21 days later. The actual cough itself can last up to ten weeks.

Try and keep the child away from children under the age of one.

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