What is pertussis (whooping cough)?
A bacterium known as Bordetella pertussis causes "ferina" cough"The name refers to the bellowing sound that occurs when breathing during a prolonged spell of cough.This disease preventable by vaccination can be life-threatening for young children and even for the elderly.In its early stages, it resembles the common cold, but then it becomes relentless fits of coughing that often interfere with breathing. Whooping cough is also called whooping cough.
Whooping cough is also called "100-day cough" because coughing fits can last up to 10 weeks. Pertussis symptoms may not occur until 5 to 21 days after exposure to someone with whooping cough.
Is pertussis highly contagious?
Bordetella pertussis It is considered an atypical bacterium that does not enter the bloodstream. It remains in the upper respiratory tract and interferes with the body's ability to clear secretions from the airways by infecting the cells needed for this function. It spreads easily from person to person and can often be confused with the common cold in the early stages of infection.
If a person infected with Bordetella pertussis Sneeze, laugh or cough, small drops containing bacteria can fly through the air. A nearby person can breathe in the droplets and become infected. Once the bacteria is in the lungs, they adhere to small hairs in the linings of the lungs. This causes swelling and inflammation, causing a prolonged dry cough and other symptoms similar to the cold.
How to prevent whooping cough (whooping cough): Tdap vaccine and more
Whooping cough is a disease preventable by vaccination. Vaccination practices have decreased deaths associated with pertussis over the years. Immunization is the best way to prevent whooping cough. There are two vaccines available to prevent pertussis, DTaP and Tdap vaccines. DTaP is a vaccine that helps children under the age of 7 develop immunity against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough). Tdap is a booster immunization that is administered at age 11 and offers continuous protection against the three listed diseases. Tdap can also be given to adolescents and adults who have never been vaccinated.
Early treatment of pertussis (whooping cough) with antibiotics
The only sure way to prevent infection is through immunization; however, if you know that you have been exposed to whooping cough and are likely to become infected, early treatment (during the first week) with the antibiotic erythromycin is effective in stopping the progression of pertussis.
Treatment with antibiotics is only effective to prevent the last stages of infection if it starts during the early stages of the disease. Erythromycin is also recommended as a way to prevent infection in people who have been in close contact with infected family members. While antibiotics started after the first two days of infection, they can not change the natural course of the disease, yet they must be started to prevent the spread of whooping cough to other people.
Whooping cough is extremely contagious and how it spreads
Pertussis is extremely contagious. If you think you have the infection, notify your doctor as soon as possible. The faster you receive the treatment, the greater the chance of preventing the progression and spread of whooping cough. A simple preventive measure includes washing your hands and "covering your cough," as recommended by the CDC. This simply means that if you are coughing and sneezing, cough up your sleeve and not your hands. This is recommended as a way to prevent flu, colds and other respiratory diseases.
Vaccinate to protect your baby
All babies, children, adolescents and even adults should ensure that they are properly vaccinated. Babies are at increased risk of serious and life-threatening complications from whooping cough. Unlike adults, it is suggested that babies have five doses of DTaP, a vaccine for diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough. Babies should receive the DTaP vaccine at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 15-18 months, and 4-6 years.
Babies should not receive the DTaP vaccine if they are moderately or severely ill or if they have had a life-threatening allergic reaction to the initial DTaP vaccine. Talk to your doctor if your child had the following reactions after a dose of DTaP:
Had a seizure or collapsed Cried non-stop for three hours Had a fever of more than 105 F
How often do you need to receive a pertussis vaccine?
Children 7 to 10 years old who are not fully immunized or who have never been vaccinated should receive a single dose of the Tdap vaccine. Adolescents ages 13 to 18 should also receive a single dose of Tdap if they have never been vaccinated, followed by a booster every 10 years.
How long is the pertussis vaccine valid?
Older children and adults should also receive a booster against whooping cough, even if they are fully immunized as babies and children. The antibodies created after immunization become less effective within six to ten years of the last dose. This recommendation was made after observing an increase in the number of severe pertussis cases associated with exposure to infected adolescents and adults with minimal symptoms.
The Tdap vaccine is usually recommended for all adults and is now given in place of the old tetanus (Td) booster that did not contain pertussis. Adults and teens usually have mild symptoms with whooping cough infections, but they can often expose young babies and children who may not be fully protected by vaccination. Pregnant women should receive a dose of Tdap during each pregnancy to protect the newborn from pertussis.
Benefits and side effects of pertussis vaccine in adults
It is suggested that all persons who come in close contact with their baby be vaccinated at least two weeks before exposure; This includes grandparents, siblings and even nannies. Babies and children have a much higher risk of being infected with pertussis, which makes it even more important for caregivers to be up to date with their Tdap vaccine.
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