Pertussis is a highly contagious respiratory disease. It is present in the US and other places of the world in adolescents and adults who have not had their vaccination. Who is at risk? You can get a whooping cough at any age. In the US, the disease is virtually non-existent in children since they have all been vaccinated since the end of the 1960s. But adolescents and adults who have not had their vaccination can catch it. The risk is that they transmit pertussis to a baby less than three months old who has not yet been vaccinated. Pertussis can be extremely serious and even fatal. Anyone who has pertussis or the vaccine is protected for several years (about ten years) but not for their entire life. A local Family Medical Clinic in Andover Kansas can provide these vaccinations.
How is pertussis transmitted? Pertussis is very easily transmitted by air, in the presence of a patient who coughs. A patient who has not received any treatment is contagious as soon as a cough appears and for 3 weeks after it subsides. If the patient takes antibiotics, they are no longer contagious after 5 days of treatment. Very often, though, the patient contaminates all family members or friends who have not been vaccinated.
What are the signs? The main sign of a whooping cough is a violent cough (the person starts coughing for several seconds without being able to stop). The resumption of breathing is noisy, and the patient becomes very tired. They may have a runny nose and a slight fever. It is a disease that usually lasts for 2 to 8 weeks (in Asia, it is called “100 days cough”). In babies, the cough is less severe but it can be deadly if not treated. Children that have great difficulty breathing can suffocate. This is why it’s so important to be vaccinated by a Family Medical Clinic in Andover Kansas.
How to protect yourself? To protect folks and their children, the whole family must be up to date with its vaccination against pertussis (reminder every 10 years). Is there a treatment? For adults and adolescents, treatment for pertussis is antibiotics for three weeks. For infants younger than 3 months, the situation is more serious and requires supervision in the hospital. Contact Wichita Family Medicine Specialists LLC