Whooping cough, or pertussis, is a bacterial respiratory disease that is highly contagious. The airways are lined with tiny hair-like structures called cilia, and when whooping coughing cough is contracted the bacteria attach to the cilia, release toxins, and lead to airway inflammation. The Centers for Disease for Disease Control estimates that between 10,000 and 40,000 people in the United States contract pertussis each year. While this respiratory disease can affect both children and adults, the condition is extremely dangerous in babies and can lead to death.
The best way to prevent whooping cough is to get the vaccine. The childhood vaccine is called DTaP, which protects against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. The pertussis booster for preteens, teens, and adults is called TDaP. In addition to getting the vaccine, taking precautions to avoid coming into contact with someone who may have whooping cough is imperative. Avoid being in enclosed spaces with anyone who has a persistent or violent cough. Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your ears, nose, mouth, or eyes if you may have come in contact with someone who could have pertussis.
Spot the Signs of Whopping Cough Early
Early stage whooping cough can resemble the common cold, which is why many people have pertussis without knowing it. Pertussis can also have in incubation period of up to three weeks so you may been exposed to and contracted the illness for some time before symptoms actually appear.
Fully developed whooping cough can trigger:
- Uncontrollable, rapid coughing fits
- A “whooping” sound when trying to breath between coughs
- Vomiting following coughing fits
- Exhaustion due to violent episodes of coughing
In babies, whooping cough can cause breathing pauses called apnea, convulsions, or pneumonia. This is an extremely serious and dangerous condition – medical attention should be sought immediately if you believe an infant is suffering from pertussis.
Whooping Cough Treatment in Tampa, Florida
At Urgent Care of Florida, our primary goal is for you to stay health and well. Our team of doctors and medical professionals encourage you to vaccinate your children against pertussis and get the pertussis booster if you are an adult. In the event that you do develop whooping cough, our team is highly experienced in treating this contagious illness. The earlier you are seen by a medical professional, the more effective antibiotics will be in treating the illness and preventing further contagion.
If you think you may have whooping cough, or you are exhibiting signs of a cold or flu and want to ensure you don’t have a more serious condition, visit one of our Tampa walk-in clinics today. You never need an appointment to be seen by a doctor who can diagnose your symptoms quickly, provide treatment, and get you back to living your life.