portrait of an young woman coughing with fist

Whooping Cough is a bacterial infection also called as Pertussis. The infection gets into the throat and nose and spreads very easily. The bacteria first get into the airways and attach to tiny hairs present in the lining of the lungs. Inflammation and swelling is caused by the bacteria, leading to long lasting and dry cough and cold like symptoms. The cough could last anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks.

In babies, whooping cough proves to be dangerous and they may need to go for an ER in severe cases. A doctor must be contacted right away if children are found suffering from whooping cough.

Symptoms of Whooping Cough include low fever, mild coughing, runny nose and sneezing.  In some people, after the cough whooping coughstarts, it turns into ‘coughing spells’ after about 7 to ten days. When the affected person tries to breathe in air, a whooping sound comes and the person gets a dry cough. No mucus is produced by the dry coughing spells that last to just about one minute. While coughing the face could turn purple or red, sometimes.  Children suffering from whooping cough may vomit and try to catch their breath and gasp for air during the coughing spells. In adults the cough may not go away, at times.

How long does it take to get over whooping cough?

Antibiotics like Sulfamethoxazole (Septra, bactrim), Azithromycin ( Zithromax), erythromycin (E-Mycin, Ilosone, Eryc, Pediazole, Ery-Tab, PCE) and Clarithromycin (Biaxin) are administered for treating Whooping Cough. These antibiotics prove to be quite effective in whooping cough treatment. With vaccines like Tdap and DTap, it can be prevented in adults and children.

Antibiotics are helpful in reducing coughing and other symptoms, if the disease is diagnosed early on. If diagnosis is done late then the antibiotics do not work well enough. Avoid using expectorants, cough suppressants an over the counter medications as they do not work effectively.