WHOOPING COUGH – the ‘DOG BARK ‘
Whooping cough or pertussis is a bacterial infection of the respiratory tract caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis. Whooping cough is a highly infectious bacterial infection that affects people of all ages, but is most severe in children. It was first recognized after a whooping cough epidemic in Paris in1578. It was then known as the ‘dog bark’, the ‘chin’ cough or ‘kin’ cough, meaning ‘convulsive’ cough.
The disease causes sudden attacks of irritating and violent coughing fits that often end in a high-pitched whooping sound as the child takes a breath. These coughing attacks can be so severe that patients may vomit, lose consciousness, or turn blue from lack of oxygen. The infection can spread easily through cough and sneezes of infected person.
Although immunisation has reduced its severity, it is still a common infection. Regular epidemics occur every 3 to 4 years. It is particularly severe in children less than one year of age.
The primary method of prevention for pertussis is vaccination.
Pertussis vaccines are effective at preventing illness and are recommended for routine use by the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The vaccine saved an estimated half a million lives in 2002.
What are the signs and symptoms?
Following exposure to the bacteria, an incubation period begins. It lasts 7 to 10 days but can stretch to as long as a month. During this time, the bacteria settle in the lungs where they produce toxins that cause inflammation and make it difficult to clear out the mucus that forms in the respiratory tract.
After the incubation period, there are three distinct stages of pertussis infection:
Catarrhal stage- the first symptoms of the disease appear and often are mistaken for those of a common cold or the flu. They include runny nose, sneezing, mild fever, and a cough that gradually worsens. This stage typically lasts 1 to 2weeks
Paroxysmal stage-The occasional cough develops into sudden violent attacks, or paroxysms, of rapid coughing ending with the whooping noise. The coughing is due to the build up of mucus in the respiratory tract and occurs frequently at night. Babies under 6 months of age may not have the strength to make the whooping sound that older children, teens, and adults typically do, but they do have bursts of coughing. It is difficult to breathe during these fits, and many patients turn blue from lack of oxygen. The severe coughing also can lead to vomiting and extreme tiredness. Between these bouts, patients look normal. The paroxysmal stage generally lasts from 1 to 6 weeks but can last for up to 10weeks.
Convalescent stage- The third stage (convalescent) is when the coughing and vomiting starts to subside over 2 to 3 weeks. Sometimes, the coughing can start again months later if the child develops an upper respiratory tract infection.
Who are more prone to this disease?
Mostly children under 6 month of age are the most susceptible for this infection because of low immunity.
What are its complications?
If a child contracts whooping cough and they have not been vaccinated, they are more likely to develop pneumonia. A severe case of whooping cough or pneumonia in a young child could result in brain damage or death. If a child has never had the disease and has not been vaccinated against it, they are likely to get whooping cough if they come into contact with the bacteria. Whooping cough is also dangerous in elderly people, but tends to be less severe in adolescents and adults.
How is it diagnosed?
Blood samples – increased amount of lymphocytes in the blood and for antibodies in the blood
Culture of naso-pharyngeal scab – it will be very helpful in detecting the bacteria present in the sample.
How to cure it using home remedies?
Garlic–taking garlic juice 2 spoonful of it every day is very effective at eliminating pertussis infection
Turmeric –it helps in boosting immunity, hence helpful in fighting the infection. Mix half spoon of honey and 1/4th of turmeric and consume it 2 times daily
Ginger -The powerful antibacterial property from ginger is capable of eliminating bacteria and together with enhancing immunity; ginger is effective at fighting against this infection as well as promote the healing. Consume the mixture of honey and ginger juice 2 spoonful daily.
Honey – it has powerful antibacterial and antiseptic properties. It can be taken either mixed with ginger or just with plain lukewarm water, and to be taken 2 spoonfuls daily
Lemon – It can help you thin out mucus and with the strong antiviral and antibacterial properties; it is able to combat against the infection. Furthermore, vitamin C from lemon is capable of enhancing the immunity .Take a tablespoon of extracted juice from lemon into some warm water with a little bit of honey. Consume couples of time every day for several days.
Almond -Rich of phytochemicals and antioxidant and together with immune-boosting property, it can effectively alleviate the symptoms of whooping cough.
Chamomile-This exotic herb is considered to be the simplest tip in the list of whooping cough remedy but it still can provide adequate help with its immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties which can alleviate the symptoms and improve the healing just fine. Take 1 – 2 teaspoons of dried chamomile into some hot water. Have it steeped for about 5 minutes .Then have it strained and put in some lemon juice with honey depended .Consume 3 to 4 times per day in couples of day.
Saffron-This herb is highly recommended in the list of home remedies for whooping cough not only because of its expensiveness but also due to its antibacterial property which is excellent at eliminating bacteria causing whooping cough.
Carrot Juice-Carrot juice is another useful help on how to get rid of whooping cough. Take a tablespoon of extracted juice from carrot and a little bit of honey together with some warm water to create some syrup .Then have a tablespoon of this syrup for couples of time per day.
Radish-Similar to carrot, the juice of radish can be turned into some wonderful syrup from top natural home remedies for whooping cough.
Vitamin c –taking in vitamin c like oranges is very effective for the treatment.
Increase fluid intake – avoid dehydration through providing sufficient fluid from juice as well as soups.
Homoeopathic remedies that work wonders for whooping cough –
Drosera -The patient has a loud, barking, frequent, spasmodic cough that prevents him from catching his breath; Whooping cough symptoms are worse in the evening and night and often begin the minute the person’s head touches the pillow on lying down
Grindelia is indicated for a dry, spasmodic cough accompanied by wheezing.
Antimonium tartaricum -The remedy is helpful for both children and the elderly especially when whooping cough symptoms are accompanied by weakness and an inability to cough up mucus trapped in the chest
Cuprum is a whooping cough remedy indicated when the coughing is accompanied by convulsions. There are muscle spasms, clenched fists and cramping accompanying an attack
Ipecacuanha, or Ipecac, has a convulsive cough where the individual becomes pale and blue and breathless. The child will stiffen her body during an attack and be extremely nauseous, which is relieved by vomiting.
Belladonna-Effective in the early stages of whooping cough symptoms, it will provide relief when the onset is sudden and accompanied by a severe headache.