You can tell a lot from a cough.
As one of the most common symptoms of a variety of diseases, there are many different kinds of cough, which can make it very difficult to tell them apart. Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is caused by a bacterial infection of the respiratory tract. But what are the symptoms and causes? Here are some FAQs about whooping cough.
Whooping Cough – the More You Know, the Better
What Are the Three Stages of Whooping Cough?
According to the CDC, there are three stages to clinical course whooping cough:
- Catarrhal. This stage is when the mucous membranes in the airways become inflamed and result in a thick exudate of white blood cells and mucus.
- Paroxysmal. The symptoms worsen as it progresses, followed by various complications that can potentially be fatal if left untreated.
- Convalescent. You start to recover from the disease after having suitable treatment and medication.
The symptoms of whooping cough usually develop gradually within 6 to 10 days after exposure.
Pertussis signs and symptoms are indistinguishable from other respiratory infections as they have plenty of similarities. Initial whooping cough can become paroxysmal (sudden increase or recurrence of symptoms) due to the disease’s progression. For typical cases, the paroxysms end with an “inspiratory whoop” followed by posttussive vomiting.
The cough increases in severity and frequency as it progresses. The cough typically lasts from 1 to 6 weeks or even more. After paroxysms subside, a non-paroxysmal cough may continue for the duration of 2 to 6 weeks or longer.
What Does Whooping Cough in Adults Sound Like?
Pertussis gets its more common name from its well-known symptom, a “whoop” sound people make when they gasp for air at the end of a coughing fit. However, this appears typically in younger children and toddlers rather than in adults. Instead, a hacking cough or a runny nose are more common symptoms when you have whooping cough.
How Do You Know If You Have Whooping Cough?
Like any other disease, you should look at the symptoms to find out whether you have. At first, the symptoms of whooping cough can be very challenging for a non-professional to distinguish as it is very similar to the flu or the common cold, including symptoms such as:
- Mild cold
- Runny nose
These early symptoms often last about two weeks, but after that, the similarity with the common cold ends there, and whooping cough will start to worsen. Your cough will become a lot more severe and frequent. As a result, you will experience a lack of sleep due to intense coughing. In the worst case, people may end up turning blue from the lack of oxygen.
With the use of advanced technology, Hyfe has created a tool to help you solve this problem. By tracking, recording, and monitoring your health condition every time you cough. The Hyfe app can also detect different kinds of cough, making it versatile for those trying to get a close eye on well being, especially during this pandemic. And it is completely free on both IOS and Android for you to download.
What Is the Difference Between Croup and Whooping Cough?
Whooping cough and croup are both infections that commonly appear in children and are usually thought to be the same by many people. They are not very easy to tell apart without an examination as they both have similarities in their symptoms. Both of them are characterized by harsh-sounding coughs often followed by wheezing in the throat and airways.
Croup is caused by a viral infection resulting in the inflammation of the windpipe tissue. The narrowing airways are the cause for the barky and tight sound of the cough. And since it’s a viral infection, there isn’t any proper vaccination against it.
On the other hand, whooping cough is a bacterial infection caused by the Pertussis bacteria. It is distinguished by persistent coughing until the lungs are drained and by inhalation with a “whoop” sound.
The primary difference between croup and whooping cough is the tone and sound frequency of the cough. While croup is hoarse seal-like bark, whooping cough creates high pitched gasping sounds.
What Happens If Whooping Cough Is Left Untreated?
This is a serious disease and should not be left untreated. Without proper treatment, whooping cough can lead to various complications.
- Difficulty breathing, making it challenging for the patient to do their daily tasks or perform any physical activities.
- Kidney failure.
- Vomiting can lead to weight loss and digestion problems.
- Seizures or brain damage caused by lack of oxygen.
Can Whooping Cough Go Away on Its Own?
Many different diseases out there can go away on their own thanks to our immune systems’ work. Unfortunately, this is not one of those diseases. So you might need to seek medical help from your doctors and health professionals to figure out the best treatment for you.
Watch this video to know what whooping cough sounds like: Infant girl with whooping cough
How to Get Rid of Whooping Cough
When you’re diagnosed with pertussis, the best course of action is to work together with your healthcare provider to plan out the most appropriate treatment. Usually, depending on the disease’s severity, doctors will prescribe you antibiotics or ask you to stay in the hospital for further monitoring.
Antibiotics are used to prevent you from spreading it to others, but it may not reduce the symptoms. If you have whooping cough for more than 21 days, you’re no longer contagious and do not require antibiotics.
Hyfe uses artificial intelligence to identify coughs. It counts every cough and allows you to compare and track your coughing over time. This gives you objective insights into your coughing and can help you monitor your health in the context of pollution, asthma, or even Covid19. Stay on top of your health by tracking your cough.
Have you tried health tracking apps? What was your experience? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!