Whooping Cough Definition, Reason, Symptom, Treatment, Prevention

Whooping Cough Definition, Reason, Symptom, Treatment, Prevention

Whooping Cough Definition

Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is a type of respiratory infection that is easily contagious. This disease is characterized by coughing symptoms followed by a high-pitched breath sound that is characteristic and lasts a long time.

This disease is most often caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis, but can also be caused by the bacterium Bordetella parapertussis.

Whooping cough is a condition that can cause disability and death in children under 2 years of age if not treated. Therefore, information about whooping cough is very important to know.

Whooping cough is transmitted through droplets (small water particles) from the cough or sneeze of an infected person. So, when an infected person coughs or sneezes, tiny droplets containing the bacteria can be spread into the air and inhaled by other people in the vicinity.

Whooping Cough Diagnosis

Determining the diagnosis of whooping cough at an early stage is difficult. Because the signs and symptoms can be similar to other respiratory tract diseases, such as the common cold, influenza, and bronchitis.

Generally, the initial stage of diagnosing whooping cough is through a medical interview and an in-person physical examination by a doctor. Blood tests and X-rays of the lungs may be done to look for signs of infection or inflammation (inflammation).

After that, if needed, the diagnosis of whooping cough can be made by examining the throat or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) examination using body DNA.

From the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), patients who have a cough for more than 3 weeks are advised to undergo the examination.

Whooping Cough Symptoms

Symptoms of whooping cough generally last for 6 weeks and are divided into 3 phases, namely the catarrhal phase (early phase), paroxysmal phase, and convalescent phase (healing phase), each of which can last for at least 1-2 weeks.

Whooping Cough

In the catarrhal phase, the symptoms that arise can be similar to those of someone who has a common cold, namely nasal obstruction, runny nose, sneezing, and red eyes. Fever may also occur during this phase, with body temperature slightly elevated.

After that, the paroxysmal phase is characterized by a persistent cough followed by a characteristic breath sound. Coughs generally last for a few minutes and are more common at night.

In addition, the face also looks reddish due to severe coughing, accompanied by red eyes. In children, the skin may also appear bluish if the cough is persistent and is followed by difficulty breathing.

In addition, the coughs that occur can also produce phlegm accompanied by vomiting. In teenagers or adults, the typical breathing sound does not always arise.

The convalescent phase is characterized by a prolonged cough that slowly begins to subside but can persist for weeks.

If left untreated, whooping cough can cause complications, especially in infants and children under the age of 2 years.

Some complications that can arise are lack of fluids in the body (dehydration), difficulty breathing, weight loss, pneumonia (infection of the lungs), seizures, kidney disorders, and lack of oxygen supply to the brain.

To prevent these complications, a person suspected of having whooping cough is advised to immediately consult a doctor for further evaluation.

Whooping Cough Treatment

The goals of treatment for whooping cough are to limit or minimize the occurrence of the paroxysmal phase, treat annoying cough complaints, and maximize nutritional intake, rest, and the healing process.

Treatment of whooping cough can use antimicrobial drugs or antibiotics to speed up the destruction of the causative bacteria and prevent the spread of the disease.

In addition, treatment can also be given to overcome the symptoms of cough, runny nose, or fever that arise. However, the use of drugs must of course be in accordance with the indications and prescriptions from the doctor.

A person who has whooping cough is advised to get enough rest, ensure that the body’s fluid intake is adequate, and most importantly consult a doctor.

Examinations by doctors are carried out through medical interviews and direct physical examinations to determine the appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

Whooping Cough Prevention

Prevention of whooping cough is DPT immunization (diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus), which can be given at 2 months, 4 months, and 6 months (or 2 months, 3 months, and 4 months, according to the program implemented).

Furthermore, treatment can be continued with booster immunization at the age of 15-18 months and 4-6 years.

In addition, prevention of whooping cough transmission can also be done by covering the nose and mouth every time you cough or sneeze, throw away used tissues immediately and wash your hands regularly with soap and water. Professor Dave Explains Whooping Cough: Bordetella pertussis

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