Whooping cough

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A whooping cough is a dangerous respiratory disease that is very contagious. Whooping cough is also known as pertussis and can last for months. The coughing fits can be severe that can cause discomfort in the rib region. Individuals who are suffering from this condition produces a distinctive sound when attempting to inhale which happens due to the swelling and inflamed condition of the laryngeal structures which vibrates when there is rapid flow of air.

Whooping cough is caused by bacterial infection and a very contagious disease that can be passed from one person to another very easily.

A child develops a cold with cough and becomes more severe and spasmodic after a few days. At the end of the spasm, a characteristic whoop develops. It is important to note that this condition can last for several weeks.

Common symptoms

  • Watery eyes and redness
  • Sneezing episodes and runny nose
  • Rise in temperature
  • A dry cough
  • Vomiting
  • Presence of thick phlegm
  • Shortness of breath and breathlessness which makes the face red or blue
  • A whooping sound when inhaling
  • Fatigue and exhaustion

Causes

Whooping cough
Shortness of breath and breathlessness which makes the face red or blue

Whooping cough can be caused due to bacterial infection that spreads into the environment where infected droplets are expelled into the air when a person with the disease coughs or sneezes. Infections will develop when these droplets are inhaled and once inhaled, bacteria starts to multiply and release toxins that weaken the ability of the respiratory tract in filtering out harmful germs.

There will be accumulation of thick mucus in the airways which will cause coughing. The airways will become narrow due to the inflammation and cause difficulties in breathing, breathlessness and gasping and sometimes will result to the distinctive whooping sound.

An individual can also get infected by direct contact with contaminated surfaces and transfer of germs from the hands to the mouth or nose by touching them.

Treatment

  • Steam inhalation helps in the treatment of whooping cough. Simply add a few drops of eucalyptus to a basin with steaming water for inhalation. This helps in clearing the respiratory passages and helps in eliminate the mucus.
  • Using humidifiers also helps to loosen nasal secretion, usually when the surroundings are cooled or artificially heated.
  • Gargle using salt water solution can help provide relief from a sore throat if there is irritation in the throat and inflammation.
  • Take vitamin C supplements and bioflavonoid to boost the immunity of the body and essential elements like zinc. Eat plenty of varieties of fruits and vegetables and soups.
  • Avoid consumption of alcoholic and caffeinated drinks
  • Take plenty of rest for fast recovery. Avoid performing any activities that require exertion and resuming work or other activities until fully recovered from the cough.
  • Stay in environments that are free from any airborne irritants that can make the condition worse such as cigarette smoke and fumes from fireplaces or even fumes coming from the kitchen can cause irritation and make the condition worse.

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