Everyday parents tell their kids over and over again to “wash your hands! ”, but how many kids do you think really listen to their parents? I know I never listened to them when it came to staying clean and keeping me healthy when I was younger and lived at home. Many people don’t understand how much washing your hands really helps prevent one from germs and catching diseases. The cleaner you try to keep yourself, the less likely your chances to catch a bad disease. One disease in particular is spread very easily among people. This infection is called Whooping Cough.
“Whooping cough, or pertussis, is an infection of the respiratory system caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussi. ” The reason for the name is because when you have this illness, the end of your cough has a “whooping” sound. The reason it creates this whooping sound is because of the “inflammation and swelling of the laryngeal structures that vibrate when there is a rapid inflow of air during inspiration. ” When one has this infection, it usually last for months and even maybe years. The target person for whooping cough is most often infants or young children who are most sustainable to illnesses.
Elderly people are also very likely to get this illness for the same reason as infants; their bodies are too weak to fight off diseases, so they are the ones who catch it the easiest. Mature bodies don’t catch diseases as easily and mature bodies are strong enough to fight most infections off. (Web MD) The first outbreaks of Whooping Cough was discovered in the 16th century, but was not identified until 1906. During this time before a vaccination was available, there was over 250,000 cases per year just in the United States. There were also around 9,000 deaths.
The first vaccination for Whooping Cough was introduced in the 1940s. After this was introduced, the cases of Whooping Cough decreased by 99% in the United States. It all started over again in the 1980s, though. The number of cases in the United States started to increase again, and is still rising to this day. The last epidemic recorded, in 2005, 25,616 cases had been reported by U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2008, there were over 13,000 cases reported in the United States, which went on to result in 18 deaths.
There was a particular case last year in California that was causing them to most likely be the state with the most cases and deaths due to whooping cough in the past fifty years! (http://www. medicinenet. com/pertussis/article. htm#tocb) Whooping Cough can lead to many more serious illnesses if one doesn’t get treatment for it immediately. Pneumonia is the most common illness that it can lead to. One can also develop a hernia from such hard coughing. With good care of one’s body, whooping cough can be taken care of and cured semi quickly, it just depends on how one’s body reacts to it because everyone’s immune system is different.
Like most diseases, you can get whooping cough numerous times. If you get the shots that are recommended, your chances are less likely to get it more than once. How does one receive Whooping Cough? Whooping cough is caused by bacteria in your pharynx of your throat. This is where it meets one’s nasal passages that cause the bacteria to tickle the throat which in return causes the cough. Whooping cough is spread very from easily person to person. There are a lot of cases of Whooping Cough within athletic teams because the athletes are always around each other sick or not.
Coughing, sneezing, laughing, yawning, spit, and just any kind of tiny bodily fluid is all it takes to get into the air and someone close by catch the infection. The smallest germ or pertussis bacteria can infect someone- touching a door handle, holding someone’s hand, a kiss, taking a breath around someone infected, this is one of the easiest diseases to spread. One doesn’t see symptoms of Whooping Cough until seven to fourteen days after the body has received the bacteria. This explains why it is a very common infection in athletic teams because they all see each other usually five times a week.
My high school soccer team, my freshmen year, spread it around for four months. More than half of the girls on the team had it, and it was right when season was about to start, which had a lot of the team down and sad that the beginning of the season wasn’t going to be how they had planned. (Web MD, causes) When we are dealing with the symptoms of Whooping Cough, adults usually have milder symptoms than infants or elderly people. Your symptoms also depend if you have received the vaccination at all in your lifetime. The symptoms happen in a series of three stages.
The three stages always happen in children. Adults and elderly don’t usually have all of the same stages or symptoms, but it is obviously very close in similarity. The first stage is the stage that the illness is most contagious. In this stage, the disease acts just like an average cold would- sneezing, coughing, sore throat, runny nose, mild fever, and watery eyes. This stage usually lasts about a week to two weeks. Stage two is more severe than stage one. This is when the mild cough and cold turns into a hacking and irritating cough.
The cold symptoms fade slightly, except the cough. Coughing attacks happen frequently, but when the attack is over, you just feel normal like you don’t have a cold. The coughing attacks can be so bad that you could have trouble breathing, you feel like you want to vomit, and can make one very tired. This stage can last anywhere from two weeks to four or more weeks. The second stage is where adults and infants differ in their symptoms. Many adults don’t experience some of the effects or they might have the same effects just not as severe.
The third stage is when your body starts to grow stronger and gets better, but the cough stays the same or gets worse. In this stage, the coughing attacks happen less often depending on different people’s body. A lot of the time during this stage, a person can catch a cold which then the stages could start over or the recovery period would last longer because the whooping cough would be “starting over” but getting worse at the same time. The length of this stage varies from person to person depending on if the individual had received the vaccine in the past.
These symptoms last anywhere from six to ten weeks, but in severe cases, they can last longer. (Web MD) Since the symptoms are much like a cold, many people don’t know when to go to the doctor or take their child to the doctor. Any infant who gets a cold should see a doctor no matter what kind of cold or flu infection it is. There are a few symptoms that are visible, and with these you need to go to the doctor or emergency room immediately- bluish skin color, apnea (to stop breathing), seizures or convulsions, high fever, continual vomiting, and/or dehydration.
These are signs telling you that you most likely waited too long to see a doctor, or you didn’t know you had this kind of severe infection. In most cases, for a doctor to determine if one has Whooping Cough or not, he/she has to run tests on the infected individual. Many times the doctor has to take samples of mucus to test for pertussis. They have to test one’s mucus when they can’t tell by appearance or symptoms if one has Whooping Cough or because the individual appears healthy in between coughing attacks. To do the mucus test, the doctor either swabs the nostril or uses a suction tube to get mucus from the nose.
This test result doesn’t come back until ten to fourteen days later. Another common test is a blood test. The blood test is usually done to adults only. For infants, the doctors will recommend a chest X-ray to see what the damage is. It is most difficult for doctors to diagnose infants without tests because they can’t tell you what’s wrong with them and they cough differently than adults. What is the most help to a doctor when examining a patient for Whooping Cough is the question if they have had the appropriate immunizations or vaccines.
Bronchitis and a common cold are two infections that get most confused with Whooping Cough. (Web MD, exams and tests) A person starts getting their pertussis vaccines at age two months. Every individual receives five vaccinations between ages two months and six years old. This vaccine is called DTaP. Pertussis vaccine isn’t the only one given to every child, there are many more. It is highly recommended that people continue to receive the vaccine even if one has had it before. The vaccine Tdap is given to eleven and twelve year olds.
With Tdap, it is recommended everyone receive it every ten years after your first one. You can get this vaccine all the way up until the age of 65 or higher. Also, people who are around babies are most encouraged to keep updated with this vaccine. (Web MD, treatment) To treat Whooping Cough, you are prescribed antibiotics. The purpose of these antibiotics is to lessen the symptoms and to prevent the bacteria from spreading to other people. In a lot of cases, if someone in the house is diagnosed with Whooping Cough, the doctor will prescribe some of the other people in the house antibiotics to avoid receiving the bacteria. Infants that are diagnosed are most likely hospitalized.
This helps the babies health extremely because he/she can be monitored at all times and kept up on all medication, nutrients, and fluids to become healthy again. (http://kidshealth. org/parent/infections/bacterial_viral/whooping_cough. html# , page 3) There are many things you can do at home to help prevent or keep the infection stable. A humidifier is highly advised in every ones home.
Drink a lot of fluids, be in a peaceful environment, eat healthy, avoid things that will worsen your health, and many more. Preventing Whooping Cough is the same as any other infection, Wash Your Hands, is the main factor. Don’t get too close to someone who has a bad cough because you never know what kind of bacteria will be flying out and around them, especially if they don’t cover their mouth. The most common prevention is to stay up to date on all your vaccinations for not only Whooping Cough, but for everything.
To avoid spreading the infection to other people, especially children, kids are advised to not attend school or social gatherings up to fourteen days after one has been diagnosed. This goes for adults too. (Web MD and http://kidshealth. org/parent/infections/bacterial_viral/whooping_cough. html#) Like I mentioned above, other infections can result from Whooping Cough. Pneumonia is what comes from it in most cases. When an individual has Whooping Cough and then it gets worse, the bacterium collects more and different bacterium which leads to secondary bacterial pneumonia.
The reason this is the most common infection to result from Whooping Cough is because pneumonia also is an infection in the respiratory system, the lungs in particular. It isn’t the same bacteria as Whooping Cough, but it’s similar and it can turn into a worse infection with little treatment, not enough treatment, or waiting too long to get treatment. Secondary bacterial infections from Whooping Cough are mostly seen in children. Some other complications one can develop that I haven’t mentioned yet are: “seizures, encephalopathy, asthma, dehydration, hearing loss, and malnutrition.
” (http://www. medicinenet. com/pertussis/page4. htm) Whooping Cough is an infection of the respiratory system caused by the bacterium pertussi. Symptoms of Whooping cough range anywhere from cold like symptoms to extreme cough attacks. Doctors run numerous tests on infected patients to determine what bacteria they are infected with and what stage the infection is in. Antibiotics are the treatment for Whooping Cough to help stop the spread of the bacteria to other parts of one’s body and to other people. Infants are usually hospitalized if they are diagnosed with Whooping Cough.
Preventing this infection is sort of common sense- keep up to date on your vaccinations and keep your hands washed all the time. All in all, cases of Whooping Cough in the United States had increased since 2004, but deaths have not increased. Some day our environment will either be extremely polluted because of industries or our environment will be overly clean. I hope that someday if our environment just keeps getting more polluted, that our doctors will have instant vaccinations and antibiotics to cure people instantly from any infection.
Infections will never be able to be avoided, but hopefully maybe the pain from them will. Works Cited: http://children. webmd. com/tc/whooping-cough-pertussis-topic-overview (Most of my research was from Web MD) http://www. medicinenet. com/pertussis/page2. htm http://kidshealth. org/parent/infections/bacterial_viral/whooping_cough. html# New York Times article online – http://health. nytimes. com/health/guides/disease/pertussis/overview. html? scp=1-spot&sq=Whooping%20Cough&st=cse.