Whooping cough is medically known as Pertussis and can be deadly in infants and also cause permanent disabilities. In the 1900s many children and infants died because of the disease, but a vaccine was introduced in the 1970s and the number of deaths declined greatly.
Recent studies show a reappearance of the disease in adults and adolescents who were vaccinated but the vaccines have worn off or ones that did not have a proper vaccination when they were between the ages of 11 and 64.
The cough starts as a common cold and progresses over time to a hacking cough that if not treated can turn deadly but knowing the symptoms and some ways of prevention this recent epidemic could drift away.
The cough starts with symptoms of a common cold nasal congestion, runny nose, red and watery eyes, sneezing, dry cough and a mild fever. Because these symptoms are similar to a common cold many people do not try and get treatment before it turns worse.
In less than two weeks the person becomes hard of coughing, breathing and vomiting at the same time, at times losing consciousness and has a high pitched whooping sound cough.
Infant’s symptoms include pneumonia, ear infections, dehydration, brain damage, seizures and slowed or stopped breathing. Infants get so sick they must have hospitalization and constant monitoring. These symptoms would alert almost anyone to the need of treatment but in adults and adolescents some do not have symptoms making it equally dangerous or more so.