Whooping cough - an acute infectious disease that is caused by pertussis.
Whooping cough: development and course of the disease
Whooping cough is transmitted by airborne droplets and is characterized by a long, paroxysmal cough. Sometimes the duration of cough reaches 1.5 - 3 months.
Infection occurs through close and sufficiently long contact with the patient, the person is the source of whooping cough infection from day 1 to day 25 of the disease. The incubation period of the disease ranges from 3 to 14 days in adults, from 1 to 3 days in children.
50% of cases of whooping cough occur in children under 2 years of age, for whom it is very dangerous. Such babies do not develop immunity due to maternal antibodies, therefore the probability of infection upon contact with a carrier is 90%.
Whooping cough begins with a mild runny nose and cough, without fever, so it is easy to confuse it with a common cold or bronchitis. However, in spite of the treatment, the cough is aggravated, occurs like a paroxysmal, mostly at night.
The convulsive cough, characteristic of whooping cough, gradually develops: the child makes 8–10 strong cough shocks in a row, followed by a loud, hoarse breath. The period of convulsive cough in children is 6-8 weeks.
In children aged 1-3 months from stress due to cough, hemorrhages in the central nervous system, in the sclera and skin are possible. Children aged 3-8 months due to cough may experience bleeding from the nose, develop a hernia. Problems with breathing can threaten the life of the child, cause apnea, disrupt cerebral circulation.
Read also: Pertussis in children: symptoms and treatment
Pertussis vaccination schedule
Normally, the first vaccination against whooping cough is administered to a child at the age of 2 months. In the following, revaccination is carried out according to the following schedule:
- in 4 months;
- at 6 months;
- at 18 months;
- at 6 years old.
According to this schedule, the required level of antibodies will arise in the baby’s body, which will protect the child from the disease.