Viewer Comments: Whooping Cough - Symptoms

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The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Whooping Cough (Pertussis):

Whooping Cough - Symptoms

What symptoms did you experience with your whooping cough?

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Comment from: Betty, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: September 19

I am a healthy 80-year-old widow and have been diagnosed with whooping cough. I did not have a cold or sore throat; just a cough which was initially diagnosed as viral bronchitis. The cough was getting worse and quite different from bronchitis, which I have had before. A trip to the hospital Urgent Care Department revealed I had whooping cough. No medication was given. I was just told it would take at least 6 weeks to clear. Then went to see my family doctor who prescribed Azithromycin for 5 days. This has helped, but the cough is still persistent but the coughing attacks are now mainly in the morning and at night, but I just feel exhausted. As I live by myself, I just have to struggle and get on with it, although I don't go outside. Fortunately my son brings me some groceries. He got tested by his doctor and fortunately he has not been infected but he has had the vaccine repeated. Now in my 6th week - hope it clears up soon.

Comment from: Vineham, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: February 08

I am 75 and suffering with COPD but the cough is very similar to what everyone describes as whooping cough. I did have whooping cough as an infant. That was in 1935, long before antibiotics and we lived a primitive life without electricity, running water or central heat. Apparently I was not expected to survive but thanks to my mother's excellent nursing skills here I am. I am wondering if anyone knows if there is a connection between COPD in adults and whooping cough in children. My COPD was not diagnosed for about six years and now I have fluid on my lungs and major congestion.

Comment from: Danil M, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 30

I had whooping cough 5 years ago. At first, I thought it was bronchitis, but then the whooping episodes started. They were worse at night. I tried sleeping sitting up, using a humidifier in the bedroom, using cough drops, but nothing helped. It felt as if I were suffocating. It was simply not possible to draw a breath in. At first, it was very, very frightening. My doctor said not to worry, that the episodes would pass. Easy for her to say! Finally, I realized that the more I fought to draw in a breath the harder it became to breathe and I started not trying to breathe. When I'd have a spasm, I'd let it ride out and hold my breath and eventually the spasm would lessen. Then, for me, what worked was to force myself to breathe OUT, not in. That seemed to terminate the spasm and I'd be able to gasp in some air. It sounded horrid and was very frightening for my family to listen to, but the spasms lessened over time. I was on antibiotics for the first two weeks, but after that only time seemed to help. From the first coughing to the last spasms probably extended over six or seven weeks. I had been vaccinated as a child, and probably had a booster or two with a tetanus booster, but I was in my 50s when I came down with this.

Comment from: loving mother, 3-6 Male (Caregiver) Published: October 17

I am a mother of a six-year-old boy who has been coughing for two weeks. We went to the doctor and I was told it was asthma. He was given steroids. I went to a few doctors, and no one seemed to want to do anything for my suffering son. One doctor actually told me there was nothing he can do. I was disgusted and walked out. I then went to a medical centre. I wanted answers and I was so angry. The doctor there swabbed my son and straight away put him on antibiotics. We had to wait three days for the result, which was whooping cough. I'm glad we got to the bottom of this, but in the meantime, I had been sending him to school and now he has spread this horrible virus around. All of this could have been prevented if the first doctor had LISTENED TO ME.

Published: August 01

The first week with whooping cough, I had a mild cough then the second week then it increased coughing all day and night. The third week I had a lot of phlegm stuck in my throat, which has me to choke a lot. I had good days and bad days.

Comment from: 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 13

With whooping cough, I have extreme fatigue, a low-grade fever, trouble sleeping and diarrhea and upset stomach from the antibiotics. I've been this way for four weeks and counting, coughing and hacking, that is. I will have a day when I think I am getting better then relapse. I wish I had known the vaccine I got as a kid needed a booster.

Comment from: diddy, 3-6 Female (Caregiver) Published: July 08

My little 6 year old girl got whooping cough, I suspect she had it for awhile but the doctors did nothing. Now she spends her days and nights coughing so bad, so hard and for so long it is scary she gets maybe an hour and a half sleep every night. So tired and exhausted the next day she seems to be getting more and more run down with an extremely sore throat from coughing so much. Her appetite is small, all she wants is mummy's cuddles and for mummy to take the coughing away. God I wish I could! She is vaccinated!

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Whooping Cough (Pertussis):

Whooping Cough - Treatment

Please describe how your whooping cough was treated.

Whooping Cough - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with whooping cough (pertussis).



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