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Whooping Cough

Brenda Valdez


September 27, 2011

Pamela Prince

Whooping Cough

Whooping cough is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection that can show signs of a common cold but is far more serious. A sure-fire way of recognizing the difference between an ordinary cough and a whooping cough is that sufferers will have a hacking cough that is then followed by a sharp, high-pitched intake of breath that makes a “whoop” sound.. The people who are usually susceptible to whooping cough are infants who haven’t had all their vaccines yet, and teenagers whose vaccines have worn down. Still, anybody can develop whooping cough. Again, many people who come down with whooping cough first mistake it for a regular cold. Whooping cough symptoms take about three to 12 days to appear, usually and because symptoms such as a runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, dry cough and a mild fever are so similar to common cold symptoms the two are often mistaken. Some may wonder then, “what is whooping cough and what causes it?”

The symptoms of whooping cough typically begin seven to ten days after becoming infected with the bacteria that cause whooping cough, although the incubation period can last several weeks. This means that you can be infected with the bacteria that cause whooping cough, Bordetella pertussis, and not develop symptoms for several weeks. An infected person is most contagious during the early stages of disease and after the onset of cough. Early symptoms of whooping cough may be mild and include: first, Low-grade fever then Mild, dry cough and also runny nose. Within a few days to a week, the symptoms of whooping cough become worse: Coughing that produces thick phlegm and also Fatigue and Reddened face that can become blue (cyanotic) during coughing fits due to a lack of oxygen in the body. Severe coughing episodes followed by a characteristic whooping sound made when gasping for air. The whooping sound is particularly evident in young children....