I’ve been asked to tell you about the “Silence the Sounds of Pertussis” campaign, and remind you that while pertussis, better known as whooping cough, isn’t as prevalent as it once was, it’s still around and it can still be deadly.
Pertussis is caused by a bacterial infection that can strike at any age, but is particularly dangerous for babies. Pertussis is characterized by a “whoop” made when gasping for breath after a severe coughing attack. Visit PKIDs Online to hear what pertussis sounds like.
Pertussis usually starts with cold or flu-like symptoms (runny nose, sneezing, mild fever and cough). Your child might have pertussis if he or she has the following symptoms about two weeks after the first cold or flu-like symptoms appear:
- a cough that sounds like a “whoop” as he or she struggles to breathe
- a cough that produces a thick mucus
- lips and nails may turn blue due to lack of oxygen
- your child is left exhausted after the coughing spell
- vomiting after a coughing spell
If you suspect your child has pertussis, visit the pediatrician, since he or she will require antibiotics to treat the bacterial infection.
For more information, visit the “Silence the Sounds of Pertussis” site.