Whooping Cough (Pertussis)

see also CoughCough in Children

A highly infectious illness caused by bacteria, serious in very young children and occasionally fatal in babies. Incubation is 1-2 weeks. There is some evidence that whooping cough may commonly occur as a mild disease where the whoop is absent and there is a paroxysmal cough. Child is most infectious during first week of infection, and remains infectious for up to 3 weeks after onset of infection.

First stage is runny nose and mild Fever. Second stage is a Cough which becomes more and more severe, beginning with a spasm and ending with a characteristic whoop as child fights to regain breath. Coughing may be violent enough to cause cyanosis (blue extremities), Nosebleeds, burst blood vessels in the eyes, and Vomiting, and can last for anything from 2-10 weeks.

Complications include Pneumonia, leading to permanent lung damage, and also brain damage due to burst blood vessels in the brain. A second attack may be triggered off within a year of the first if child is prone to Colds and is in poor health. A recent survey by an English medical doctor revealed that, contrary to perceived wisdom, whooping cough may be a very common illness which is usually mild and only occasionally develops into a severe form.

If you suspect your child has been in contact with whooping cough or may be developing it, consult your doctor if there is no improvement in 48 hours. medical doctor may decide to give an antibiotic, which will kill bacteria before they take hold or at least reduce severity of attack. Give child live yoghurt daily for 5 days after course of antibiotics finishes; this restores beneficial intestinal bacteria destroyed by antibiotic. If child's lips or fingers turn blue during coughing bouts, consult your doctor if there is no improvement in 2 hours.

Specific remedies to be given after every attack of coughing for up to 2 days; if no improvement, or if unsure which remedy to give, consult your homeopath

  • Throat feels dry and tickly, impulse to cough is so violent that child vomits and can scarcely breath between coughs, clasps stomach in pain when coughing, feels chilly and restless, symptoms worse after midnight Drosera 30c
  • Hard, dry, hacking cough comes on around 3 am, child very chilly and exhausted. eyelids puffy Kali carb. 30c
  • Coughing worse at night when child is warm in bed, alleviated by drinking cold water, vomited mucus is transparent and stringy Coccus 30c
  • Paroxysms of coughing leave child breathless and exhausted, whooping intakes of breath cause lips to turn blue, cramps in toes and fingers (typically, thumbs are tucked into palms), drinks of cold water seem to help Cuprum 30c
  • Stringy, yellow mucus coughed up Kali bichrom. 30c
  • Child cries and complains of stomach pains before coughing attack comes on, has bursting feeling in head, cough worse at night and when lying down, better after coughing up mucus, then dry tickling in throat starts again and attack is repeated, with whooping and retching, child red in face, eyes puffy and bulging Belladonna 30c
  • Child feels sick most of the time, becomes rigid, pale and breathless, then relaxes and vomits, which ends attack Ipecac. 30c

Immunization: Orthodox immunization is offered as part of 'triple' vaccine (DiptheriaTetanus, Whooping Cough). Adverse reactions are exceedingly rare, despite reports in the popular press. The 'triple' gives 60-80 percent protection but should be given cautiously if your child has a fever or if any member of your immediate family has a history of fits. There has been no research comparing the efficacy of orthodox and homeopathic immunization, but there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that Pertussin 30c nosode (see nosode for definition ) prevents the graver complications of whooping cough.

Self-help: Do not give cough suppressants. Encourage child to eat little and often, and to sit up and lean forward during bouts of coughing. If child vomits frequently, keep a bowl with in easy reach, and wash it out each time child is sick. Keep child away from other children until infectious stage is over.

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View Related

Ailment & Diseases

  Colds in Children
  Cough in Children
  Fever in Children
  Nausea & Vomiting
  Tetanus (Lockjaw)
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  Kali bichrom.
  Kali carb.
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Related to Child Ailments & Diseases
  Children's Hearing Assessment Centre (CHAC)
  National Asthma Campaign
  National Autistic Society, The
  National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society
  Cystic Fibrosis Research Trust
  Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus (ASBAH)
  International Autistic Research Organisation, The
  Association of Child Psychotherapists
  Down's Syndrome Association
  Hyperactive Children's Support Group
  National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC)
  National Deaf Children's Society
  Association of Parents of Vaccine Damaged Children

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