What you need to know!
by Fannie Fang, MD, Pediatrician
Children’s Medical Group – River Glen Pediatrics
This past week I have seen several cases of whooping cough or pertussis in clinic.
Even though vaccines have helped decrease the incidence of the disease, whooping cough is still around.
The first symptoms may be mistaken for the common cold (cough, runny nose, nasal congestion and low grade fever) and then progresses to a severe, violent and rapid cough.
After a coughing spell, the child breathes in deeply making a whooping sound.
Complications include pneumonia, other infections, seizures, and even death.
Whooping cough is very contagious and is spread through the air by coughing or sneezing.
Many people may not know they have whooping cough, especially in the beginning stages of the disease.
Symptoms can last for more than 10 weeks. It is important to get tested and treated if any child has symptoms.
People who are exposed to whooping cough also will need to be treated. Make sure your child and family members are up to date on their vaccines.
There is an adult vaccine (Tdap) available for whooping cough and it is extremely important to be vaccinated, especially if there are young infants in the household who have not received the full set of vaccines.
If you have concerns that you or your child may have symptoms or have been exposed to whooping cough, call your doctor right away to receive the appropriate treatment.