Whooping Cough

infant sleepingWith all of the controversy surrounding vaccines and children, many families are opting out of standard vaccinations and attempting to keep their children safe from these "antique" illnesses through other means. With the prevalent fear of autism spectrum disorder, vaccines are now under scrutiny and while many parents and medical professionals argue over this sensitive issue, the fact remains that former illnesses such as measles and whooping cough are on the rise.

Whooping Cough, or Pertussus, is a respiratory infection that is characterized by coughing spells and a “whooping” sound. It is highly contagious and is spread through fluid from a person’s nose or mouth. Symptoms may begin like that of the common cold, or in the case of infants, there may not actually be symptoms, and then increase over a few weeks. The time it takes to get over Whooping Cough can be well over a month and only with the help of antibiotics. Since this illness is on the rise, its best to be aware that Whooping Cough can also lead to secondary infections such as pneumonia. Infants under the age of six months, as well as children over the age of 11 are most at risk for developing Whooping Cough.

Vaccinations are a personal decision to be made within a family, along with medical professionals such as your nurse practitioner or family doctor. Illnesses like Whooping Cough are preventable, and can be fatal if not treated properly. Always be sure to weigh the benefits versus risks when confronted with any sort of medical treatment, and educate yourself before making any decisions.



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