Whooping Cough (Pertussis) (cont.)
What are the symptoms and signs of whooping cough?
The course of whooping cough is divided into three stages.
- The first stage of whooping cough is the catarrhal (runny nose) stage. This phase typically lasts for one to two weeks. Symptoms during this phase resemble that of an upper respiratory illness: runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, and occasional cough. A low-grade fever may be present in some cases. It is only during this stage that progression of whooping cough can be halted by antibiotics.
- The second stage of whooping cough is the paroxysmal stage. The duration of this phase is highly variable, lasting from one to 10 weeks. It is characterized by intense and drawn out bouts of coughing. The attacks tend to be more frequent at night, with an average of 15 attacks in a 24-hour period. Often a "whoop" can be heard caused by the gasping person inhaling between coughs. (Barking coughs usually indicate a viral infection and are not indicative of whooping cough). Newborn babies and infants, in particular, may appear to stop breathing and perhaps turn blue during the coughing spasms. Vomiting or choking is also common during this stage as well.
- The third stage of whooping cough is the convalescent stage. This can last for weeks or months and is characterized by a chronic cough that becomes less paroxysmal (fewer sudden outbursts of coughing) in nature.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/8/2016
Must Read Articles Related to Whooping Cough (Pertussis)
Antibiotics are prescribed to individuals to cure disease by killing bacteria. There are over 100 antibiotics. The main classes of antibiotics include
learn more >>
Choking is a blockage of the upper learn more >>
Complete Blood Count (CBC)
Complete blood count (CBC) is one of the most common blood tests. The complete blood count test provides valuable information about the quantity of the differen...learn more >>
Patient Comments & Reviews
The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Whooping Cough (Pertussis):