Pertussis (whooping cough or pertussis) is a respiratory tract infection, which is caused by bacteria – Bordetella pertussis. The infection primarily affects children under 6 months of age who, for one reason or another have not been immunized, and children between 11 and 18 years of age, whose acquired immunity after vaccination began to thin. Before starting mass immunization against pertussis is the causative took 9,000 casualties annually in the US. The incubation period is 8 to 10 days, rarely reaches 21.
1. What are the symptoms?
The first complaints in pertussis resemble banal viral infection are fever, sneezing, Mild cough and Mild fever. After about 1-2 weeks begins paroxysmal stage. It is characterized by short bursts cough during exhalation, followed by a powerful and noisy breathing (reprise) and a new impetus from cough attacks during the next exhalation. Because the vocal cords are bent, cough sounds like the braying of an ass, hence another name for pertussis. Himself attack lasts about 1 minute, the child’s face may redden or turn blue. Attacks are more frequent at night, they can reach 30 in one day. Among them, the child usually feels well.
For children in infancy rarely seen such seizure episodes. Typical of these are pauses in breathing (apnoichni breaks), during which the child stops breathing and turning blue.
Adults and teenagers can have mild symptoms without observe the typical cough proceed with reprise. Pertussis they can occur only with prolonged irritating cough.
2. Contaminated Is pertussis?
The bacteria are transmitted easily from person to person by droplets when sneezing and coughing. Spray containing the pertussis bacteria can get on your hands and so they can be transferred to the mouth and nose of healthy child in improper hand washing. Patients are most contagious in the earliest stages of the disease and up to 2 weeks after the cough. Antibiotics can shorten this period drastically.
3. Can we protect ourselves?
Prevention against the disease occurs mainly through vaccination. It lies in zadalzhitlniya immunization as part of polikomponontnata vaccine.
4. What is the duration of pertussis infection?
Typically, the initial catarrhal phase lasts from 1 to 2 weeks and is characterized by the above-described influenza-like symptoms. It paroxysmal stage, which lasts up to 3 months. Then came a period of recovery that lasts several weeks to months. During this phase the symptoms gradually weaken and disappear.
5. What is the treatment?
Pertussis infection can be treated with an antibiotic. According to researchers, they shorten the duration of infection if they are started on time in the first phase of the disease. In some cases necessary treatment is performed in a hospital. The disease can be life-threatening under the age of 6 months of the child. Possible complications include difficulty breathing, periods of apnea, oxygen dependency dehydration.
6. Home Treatment
If a child is left home treatment is necessary strict adherence to the therapeutic regimen. The child must be at ease in an environment free of irritants such as cigarette smoke, aerosols, fragrances, heating appliances using solid fuel. Children with pertussis may vomit or refuse to eat because of prolonged cough. In these cases, offer the child more fluid and easily digested food in small portions and often. Watch for signs of dehydration, such as thirst, irritability, lethargy, dry mucous membranes, coated tongue, crying without tears, rarely urination.