Doctor insights on:
Pertussis Life Cycle
Not sure if I was vaccinated against pertussis as a child or not. Do I still just need to get the Tdap once in my life as an adult?
No: No you need 5-6 childhood to adulthood. ...Read more
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
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
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
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
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
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
1-3 weeks: Actually 5-21 days.Get a more detailed answer ›
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
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
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