10 Symptoms of Whooping Cough

Whooping cough, otherwise known as Pertussis, is a bacterial infection originating in the 16th century that affects the respiratory system and is highly contagious. It is named after its most common symptoms, a hacking cough and a high-pitched squeal when a breath is taken which sounds like a “whoop”. Though the whoop is not always present in whooping cough, the hacking cough is always present.

Whooping cough most commonly affects infants who have not yet been fully vaccinated and teenagers or adults whose vaccination has faded. The vaccination for this illness is three shots, so an infant who has not completed all of the shots in the set is still susceptible. Teenagers and adults can obtain a booster shot to avoid contracting this illness.

This illness is airborne and can be obtained from another person with the bacteria who sneezes or coughs around you. The bacteria become airborne by the force of the cough or sneeze. Inadvertently, you might breathe in the bacteria without any knowledge. However, seven to ten days later you will begin to see signs of the illness. Most likely, you will think that you have a common cold as the initial symptoms are mild and mimic the common cold. Unfortunately, after a week or two the symptoms worsen into those resembling whooping cough.

1. Chronic Cough

A chronic cough is a cough that can last up to eight weeks in adults and up to four weeks in children. The coughs are forceful and typically cause you to lose sleep or become exhausted. In severe cases, this cough can cause vomiting, lightheadedness, coughing up blood, and rib fractures from the force of the cough. However, the most common symptoms of a chronic cough are runny nose, postnasal drip, hoarseness, frequent clearing of the throat, wheezing, shortness of breath, heartburn, or a bad taste in your mouth. Chronic cough usually has an underlying issue such as smoking, second hand smoke, or even whooping cough. However, once the underlying issue has been addressed, a chronic cough will typically disappear.