The Fundamentals

Characterized by a catarrhal stage and proxysmal, whooping cough, Pertussis is an acute infectious disease. Pertussis may be prevented by immunization of infants at 3 months of age. The disease is caused by a small, nonmotile bacillus with an incubation period of 7-10 days. Symptoms of pertussis include elevated white blood count with marked lymphocytosis. It can be divided into 3 stages: Catarrhal, which has symptoms similar to the common cold, including slight fever, sneezing, rhinitis, dry cough, irritability, and loss of appetite. Paroxysmal sets in about 2 weeks into the disease. The cough is markedly more violent followed by long drawn inspirations where the whooping is heard. Vomiting commonly follows the paroxysm, and there may also be subconjunctival hemorrhages or hemorrhages in other parts of the body. This cough is generally precipitated by eating, drinking, or pressing on the trachea. Finally, the Decline stage begins indefinitely after several weeks. Paroxysms grow less frequent and less violent. The appetite improves, and eventually, the cough disappears.

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KidsHealth: Whooping
(Whooping Cough)
oughing is extremely common and occurs in nearly half of all people who visit doctors in the wintertime. They are generally suffering from some type of inflammation of the respiratory tract. Some coughs are productive, bringing up mucous. Others are nonproductive, dry and hacking. Ginger, an herbal supplement, has been proven in studies to be cough-suppressing, as well as pain-relieving and fever-reducing. Besides many other benefits of Licorice, it is well known for soothing mucous membranes and has been used for many years in the treatment of coughs and asthma. Licorice tea is comforting and safe for normal use of up to 3 cups of tea per day. Mullein leaf contains throat-soothing mucilage and saponins which have an expectorant effect. Mullein has been approved by the German Commission E for treating coughs. With a long history of use as a treatment for colds, pertussis, and tuberculosis, Nettles is still a good choice for alleviating some of the discomfort of pertussis. Fennel seed is a useful remedy for upper respiratory catarrh as it has a calming effect on bronchitis and coughs. Oregano Oil also has proven effective for dry coughs such as pertussis. A decoction of Oregano leaves is also soothing.
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