Whooping Cough Essay

805 Words 4 Pages
Bordetella pertussis, also known as whooping cough is a bacterial infection of the upper respiratory system. Symptoms range from that of a common cold too short periods of apnea and in extreme cases death. Pertussis is a highly contagious disease that can affect anyone but is more common in children and in infants. Although this disease is preventable and treatable it is currently and continually on the rise. The whooping cough is caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis. B. pertussis is a small, aerobic, gram-negative coccobacillus (U.S. Pharmacist, 2015, p.50). The pertussis toxin, as well as other antigenic factors produced by the bacterium, are primarily responsible for the clinical manifestations of the disease and the immunity that occurs following infection or vaccination (U.S. P, 2015, p.50). The whooping cough mainly affects infants under one year of …show more content…
During this phase, the beginning phase, diagnosis is difficult due to the symptoms being very general to the common cold. As the disease progresses into the second stage the symptoms become more serious and specific to the disease. These symptoms include, continuous uncontrollable coughing spells, whooping sound after cough, difficulty breathing, short periods of apnea, vomiting after cough, dehydration, extreme fatigue, and red or blue discoloration of the face due to the lack of oxygen. Diagnosis in this stage is much less difficult. The incubation period for whooping cough is usually 7 to 10 days, but can be as long as 21 days (Pertussis, 2015). The whooping cough causes prolonged symptoms of 1 to 2 weeks of common cold symptoms, followed by up to three months of severe coughing. The last stage consists of another few weeks of recovery with gradual clearing of symptoms except in some children, the recovery period can last for months (Pertussis,

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