Pertussis, otherwise known as whooping cough, is a respiratory infection that is caused by the presence of Bordetella Pertussis. Children are immunized for whooping cause in the United States when they are 6 months old. The infection normally affects infants under the age of 6 months and children between the ages of 11 and 18 as the vaccination starts to wear off. There are a number of different signs and symptoms you should look for if you suspect your child has pertussis. Understand how children come in contact with the bacterium, what the common symptoms of pertussis are, and how you can treat your child if they are diagnosed.
What Causes Whooping Cough?
Pertussis is one of the most contagious infections in existence. The infection is transferred through droplets that travel through the air when an infected person coughs. It will generally take 5 to 15 days for a person to show signs of whooping cough once they have contracted the infection. Infection periods can last up to 8 weeks.
The Common Symptoms of Whooping Cough
The first signs of whooping cough are similar to the signs of a common cold. Your child may have a runny nose, a mild cough, and a low fever. After the first few days of incubation, the infection will gradually get worse and the mild cough will graduate into a series of dry and irritating coughing spells. The disease gets its name “whooping” from the sound the child makes during their coughing spells. The child may not feel sick in between the cough spells but the spells with begin to get more frequent.
Treatment Options for Children With Whooping Cough
If your child is showing symptoms of pertussis, it is pertinent that you seek treatment as soon as possible. A bout of the disease can be distressing for you and your child. In a few cases, other complications have been reported including ear infections, pneumonia, and bronchitis. There are home remedies and pharmaceutical treatments you should know about. Make sure to read each of these and choose the one you feel is best.
Hospitalization and Testing
Infants are hospitalized if they are diagnosed with whooping cough. This is because the infection is far more serious in infants 1 year old and younger. Doctors will order testing, chest x-rays, and they will observe the infant to ensure they can hold down liquids. They may administer prescription sedatives to help your child rest as they fight the infection.
The best way to kill the bacteria that is present in the respiratory system is to give your child antibiotics with will fight B. pertussis. Studies show that taking a full series of antibiotics will fight the spreading of the infection and will speed up the time it takes for the infection to go away. Family members should also take these antibiotics for preventative measures. If the parent gets whooping cough, they can spread it back to the child without knowing it.
Home Remedies and Lifestyle Changes
Whooping Cough can affect your life. While antibiotics are effective, they do not work in some children and in some instances the infection has to go through its course. There are some home remedies you can follow if you want to make your child more comfortable. Consider these home remedies:
Drink Plenty of Fluids
Whenever you have an infection you should drink plenty of water to hydrate your body. When your child goes through a coughing spell, they are dehydrating their body and they need to replace the water they are losing in their body with other types of liquid. Give them water, soup, juice, and drinks with electrolytes.
Vaporize the Room
The lungs become very irritated when your child has an infection. This is because of the coughing spells in the dryness in the lungs. If you want to soothe your child’s lungs, you can use a mist vaporizer and and loosen the secretions that are building in the lungs. Make sure you keep your vaporizer clean and you can help make for easier and cleaner breathing.
Garlic is an effective treatment option if you want to try a home remedy. Give garlic in teaspoon doses and it should reduce coughing spells.
If you have fresh ginger juice handy or you are making your shopping list, pick up fresh ginger and give it to your child mixed with honey. Ginger is a diaphoretic and it can treat whooping cough.
Turmeric is an ingredient that herbalists use in natural medicine. Invest in this ingredient in raw or powdered form and give your child a pinch of the powder twice a day to relieve symptoms of the cough that cause irritation.
Onions, Almond Oil, Radish, and Calamus
Each of these ingredients have natural properties that can relieve symptoms of pertussis. Mix the herbal drinks with plenty of honey so it tastes good and give it to your child twice daily.
Give your child smaller and more frequent meals to prevent vomiting. Make sure to make your child comfortable and contact your doctor immediately if your child is young and if they have not had a vaccination. While whooping cough cannot be “cured”, it can be treated.admin