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Doctor insights on: Pertussis Life Cycle

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What is pertussis?

What is pertussis?

Whooping Cough: The medical term for whooping cough. An infection that is defined by a unique cough that may sound like a "whoop". It starts as a simple cold like illness progressing over 2-3 weeks to a serious painful cough, with emesis and trouble catching breath. Lasts 100days or so despite any therapy. Can be deadly in infants and toddlers. Preventable by immunizations. ...Read more

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What is pertussis?

What is pertussis?

Whooping cough: It's another name for whooping cough, a serious bacterial infection of the respiratory tract caused by bordatella pertussis. I'm afraid it's making a comeback because of misguided parents who don't vaccinate their children. ...Read more

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How does one get pertussis?

How does one get pertussis?

Pertussis: Is transmitted person to person when the bacteria is spread by coughing or sneezing in close proximity to others. ...Read more

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Where did pertussis come from?

Where did pertussis come from?

Whooping cough: Pertussis is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a bacteria called bordetella pertussis. It causes heavy, uncontrollable coughing that sound like barking. It is on the rise, therefore immunization against it is now recommended. Most of us have been immunized against it during our early years of life through the tdap tetanus vaccine and now booster is recommended for unimmunized. ...Read more

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What are the symptoms pertussis?

What are the symptoms pertussis?

Cough: It usually starts with a runny nose and congestion and then it's becomes a long, persistent, annoying cough for adults. In kids or infants it will often come with coughing fits that result in a whoop of inspiration after the coughing fit or sometimes after cough vomiting. Hence the name whooping cough. ...Read more

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How do I know if I have pertussis?

How do I know if I have pertussis?

Suspicion/duration: Since most adults have not bothered to get a pertussis booster, they represent a target of opportunity. Pertussis germs can ride into town in an international traveler or someone from the west coast & spread it to you (or your susceptible kids).In adults, it often seems to be a mild cold until you get past the initial phase, then the persistent "hundred days cough" sets in. Dx from test is possible. ...Read more

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Can you get the pertussis injection?

Confusing question: Pertussis vaccine is available at any age beyond 2 months. Adults who will be in the proximity of vulnerable newborns are encouraged to receive the tdap, which contains this in an adult form. ...Read more

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What system is affected by pertussis?

What system is affected by pertussis?

Respiratory: Pertussis. I'd whooping cough. Is basically a respirstory tract system illness with prolonged coughing and sometimes other respiratory issues ...Read more

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Can I die from pertussis if I ignore it?

Can I die from pertussis if I ignore it?

Not likely: Pertussis can cause death in children, especially if the child is malnourished, has other respiratory illness or other intercurrent illness. An adult is not likely to die from it. ...Read more

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Should I go to work when I have pertussis?

After....: Currently you may return if you have completed a course of the appropriate antibiotic, usually a macrolide. Some experts believe your are no longer contagious after 3 weeks of illness. But check with your doctor. ...Read more

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Was tested positive for pertussis. Is baby at risk?

Was tested positive for pertussis. Is baby at risk?

Depends: If you were found to have antibodies in your blood against pertussis, you have been immunized like most people or recovered from the disease. If your cough was found to be due to pertussis, then baby, if unimmunized, may be given antibiotics prophylactically. Congratulations on being a parent -- awsome joys and awesome responsibility. ...Read more

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Could you tell me what is the targeted system of pertussis?

Could you tell me what is the targeted system of pertussis?

Respiratory tract: The germ targets the upper and lower respiratory tract, producing an outpouring of thick mucous that leads to the chronic cough.Affected infants can cough so hard they develop brain injury and or die during the process. Adults often have an intractable cough lasting 3 months or more. ...Read more

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How long is it supposed to it take for pertussis to go away?

Pertussis: The old name for pertussis is the "100 day cough" - you should be evaluated as it can be very dangerous and only treatment is antibiotics (azithromycin) please see your doctor. ...Read more

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I think I had the pertussis shot a couple years ago but not sure. Is it bad to get it again?

I think I had the pertussis shot a couple years ago but not sure. Is it bad to get it again?

No: We don't think so and there is no evidence to suggest otherwise. Dtap is for kids and tdap is for adults to be re-vaccinated. What we are finding is that the protection to pertussis fades away as we get older. As a result of this and children not being immunized, rates of pertussis infection last year reached rates of the 1960's. Caregivers for small babies should definitely receive booster. ...Read more

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If pertussis is left untreated, how likely is it for the disease to cause any other problems?

Depends on variables: Pertussis is most deadly to infants under 4 months of age and less so to older kids. In adolescents or adults it produces the "100 days cough" or a seemingly endless bronchitis. Untreated it may self heal while you contaminate the environment & spread it directly or indirectly to more vulnerable patients. If you have emphysema or other lung issues it can aggravate the disability involved. ...Read more

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Took care of my partner; with what we think had pertussis how can I be sure I didn't get it... We live in a small house and share a room?

See your doctor...: If you are having no symptoms, the most important thing you can do is get re-vaccinated, especially if there is a pertussis outbreak in your area. If you're having a frequent dry cough, lost of fatigue, especially if the cough is persistent and hacking, you may well have pertussis. There are tests that can be done for this, and antibiotics which can treat the infection if present. See your doc! ...Read more

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