What Causes Pertussis in Babies, How Does It Go?

Pertussis, one of the most serious contagious childhood diseases, is a disease that can cause significant problems, especially in young babies. How is it found? How is whooping cough treated? Does the vaccine provide protection? Time to learn all the details!

What is whooping cough?

Pertussis is a highly contagious bacterial disease that affects the respiratory tract. It begins as a normal cold with a cough. Cough may be exacerbated by seizures that make breathing difficult.

The cough period of whooping cough can last up to 10 weeks. If the vomiting is severe, there is also the danger of dehydration. A severe attack can damage the lungs and lead to relapses.

How is whooping cough transmitted?

Whooping cough is transmitted from person to person through airborne droplets from coughing and sneezing.

What are the symptoms of whooping cough?

  • Cold symptoms such as fever, runny nose,
  • coughing fits,
  • The “vuupp” sound while breathing,
  • Vomiting after a coughing fit
  • Insomnia due to cough.

In infants younger than 3 months of age, mild symptoms may not be apparent at first. The first sign of whooping cough may be a sudden attack of coughing or difficulty breathing. After the coughing spells and breathing difficulties have passed, the baby may appear to be unwell.

When is the pertussis vaccine given?

first 3 vaccines4th vaccine5th vaccine
2, 4 and 6 months12-18. months4-6 years

The pertussis vaccine is included in the group of vaccines that the baby should have. Babies under 6 months of age are at higher risk of contracting the disease because their vaccinations are not completed. However, timely vaccination reduces the likelihood of severe symptoms.

The protection provided by the vaccine decreases over time. Adolescents and adults can get the disease and pass it on to babies or young children if they don’t get their vaccinations. It is therefore recommended that adolescents and adults receive a booster vaccine against pertussis.

How is whooping cough treated?

Most infants younger than 6 months old and some older infants with pertussis are initially treated with hospitalization. This intensive care reduces the risk of developing complications.

While in the hospital, the child’s dark secretions may need to be suctioned with the help of an aspirator and removed by pulling back. His breathing is monitored with a monitor and oxygen administration may be necessary. To prevent the spread of the disease, the baby can be placed separately from other children for a few days.

Pertussis is usually treated with antibiotics for 2 weeks. These drugs are most effective if given in the early stages of the disease, before coughing attacks begin. Although antibiotics can stop the spread of the disease, they cannot prevent or cure cough on their own.

What is good for whooping cough?

Your doctor will most likely recommend home remedies, as cough medicines cannot relieve seizures. You can read them below.

What is good for whooping cough in babies?

  • A quiet, dark and cool room helps the baby relax and rest better. So make sure your baby gets plenty of rest.
  • Make sure your little one is hydrated by giving them plenty of water, juice, and soup. If she’s not drinking enough, you can give small amounts of an oral rehydration mix.
  • Feed your baby smaller portions. Take care to feed him little and often so that he does not vomit after coughing.
  • It is better to sleep in the same room with your child at night so that he is not alone during coughing spells.
  • Use a steamer to soothe your baby’s irritated lungs and soften phlegm. If you don’t have a steam device, turning on the shower and sitting in a hot bath can also help clear your lungs temporarily and breathe easier.
  • Tobacco, etc., which can trigger coughing attacks. Keep irritants, such as product fumes, out of your home.
  • Place containers on all sides where your child can phlegm and vomit. If he vomits after coughing, give him something to eat and drink to feed.
  • Be sensitive to covering your mouth with your hands while coughing and washing your hands frequently. Keep your baby away from other people. Ask your doctor for all family members to complete their vaccinations. Remember that your little one is vulnerable during the illness.
  • Contact your doctor if your child still seems sick and has difficulty breathing after the illness has passed. Do not give cough suppressants without your doctor’s advice.

Can whooping cough lead to other diseases if left untreated?

  • After an intense coughing attack, the child may have bruising and convulsions.
  • Because the brain is deprived of oxygen, brain damage may occur in the future.
  • May increase the risk of pneumonia and asthma.

In which situations is pertussis dangerous?

  • If you are having severe coughing attacks,
  • If he has attacks of respiratory distress, is bruised and gagged,
  • has a bad cough that lasts longer than 5 to 7 days
  • If you’re vomiting, eating little, or seeming sick after a coughing fit, be sure to contact your doctor.

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