Whooping Cough Treatment in Portsmouth, NH
Whooping cough (pertussis) is a highly-contagious respiratory disease. The bacterial infection targets the upper respiratory tract, with whooping cough symptoms often presenting as those of the common cold along with the characteristic cough that's followed by a "whoop" sound. Before the development of the vaccine, whooping cough was widely recognized as a childhood illness. This is why it's particularly important for children to get the whooping cough vaccine at an early age, as children in the process of completing the 5 dose treatment are still susceptible to the disease. Additionally, because the vaccine eventually wears off, adolescents are particularly at-risk if exposed to the disease, thus medical professionals often recommend a booster shot to be given at around the age of eleven. Pregnant women and adults can also receive the vaccine to avoid passing the illness on to children.
To schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider in Portsmouth that specializes in whooping cough treatment, call (603) 610-8882 or contact Dr. Johanna Mauss online.
Whooping Cough Symptoms
The following are common whooping cough symptoms:
- Common Cold Symptoms - Fever, congestion, runny nose, red eyes, intermittent coughing and apnea in babies (paused breathing) accompanied with turning blue
- The “Whoop” Cough - A deep, suffocating cough that is followed by a “whoop” sound on the next breath. The cough is irrepressible and violent, often restricting breathing. It should be noted that some people don’t develop the distinctive whoop but do have a hacking cough.
- Prolonged Symptoms (1-2 weeks) - Vomiting, red or blue face and extreme fatigue that follow uncontrollable coughing fits, labored breathing and a thick buildup of mucus in the airways.
Whooping Cough Complications
Though adolescents and adults can often recover from whooping cough free of complications, some side effects can occur from the excessive coughing. The following are a number of complications that can arise from having whooping cough:
- Bursting blood vessels in the skin and eyes
- Broken, bruised or cracked ribs
- Abdominal hernias
- Weight loss
- Fainting or passing out
Complications for infants are far more severe, predominantly for those under 6 months of age, for which the disease can be life-threatening. For this reason, children with whooping cough will likely require hospitalization. Such complications for children and infants include:
- Brain damage
- Dehydration and weight loss
- In rare cases, whooping cough in infants and children can be fatal
Whooping Cough Treatment
Your healthcare provider will conduct a complete physical exam and may run tests such as a swab of the nose and throat, blood tests and a chest X-ray. While infants and small children typically require hospitalization, treatment for adolescents and adults can be managed at home with rest, plenty of fluids and the prevention of transmission by limiting contact with others. Healthcare providers can help speed recovery by prescribing antibiotics to kill the bacteria that's the source of infection.
In addition to adhering to your antibiotic schedule, whooping cough treatment may also consist of:
- Keeping the home free of irritants like smoke, dust and chemicals
- Using a misting vaporizer to sooth whooping cough symptoms like excess mucous and the whoop cough
- Drinking plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration
- Eating small meals to prevent vomiting
Over-the-counter cough medication is discouraged, especially for children 4 years and younger. It is important to closely follow the recommendations of your healthcare provider to ensure a speedy recovery. If you or your child receive pertussis treatment in a hospital, IV therapy may be administered to quickly combat dehydration. Suctioning may also be used to clear breathing passages that are congested with mucus.
Still, the best line of preventative whooping cough treatment is vaccination, even before whooping cough symptoms present. Medical professionals recommend starting the administration of the whooping cough vaccine in infancy. Healthcare professionals also advise that pregnant women receive the vaccine between 27 and 36 weeks of gestation; this not only protects the mother but also provides the baby with immunity during the first two months of living, until the whooping cough vaccine can be safely administered.
To see if you're exhibiting whooping cough symptoms or in need of the whooping cough vaccine, schedule an appointment with a provider in Portsmouth, call (603) 610-8882 or contact Dr. Johanna Mauss online.
Vibrant Health Natropathic Medical Center
Address501 Islington St
Portsmouth, NH 03801
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tue: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wed: 10:30 am - 5:00 pm
Thu: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Fri: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm