Warning About Whooping Cough
Hello all! First off, I do NOT want to start a hysterical thread telling everyone that their babies are in grave danger. However, I just found out some information from my sister's family doctor (who was my family doctor for 18 years before I moved out of the area) that I thought you moms might appreciate knowing.
There is a strain of whooping cough going around in my region (Northern California) that is resistant to traditional treatments and many anti-biotics. The doctor assured my sister (after her 2 year old was diagnosed with it) that the vast majority of children over the age of 18 months recover nicely. However, he did warn me (via my sister because he knew that I have a baby) that it has proven to be lethal to infants in some instances.
The key phrase here is some instances. The fact is that most of our babies will not contract whooping cough and of those that do, they will survive the experience after giving us a few heart checks. This doctor would never want to cause undue alarm to new moms. He simply wanted to convey that due to the resistant nature of this illness it is of particular importance to be vigilant in recognizing symptoms and to seek medical attention early if whooping cough is suspected.
The symptoms are as follows... 1st two weeks: cold-like symptoms last for several days to two weeks (sneezing, runny nose, mild coughing and watery eyes), sometimes there is a mild fever. 2nd through 6th weeks: A dry, hacking cough appears and intensifies as bursts of violent coughing may render those infected temporarily unable to breathe. A person may try to inhale while hacking, thus causing a whooping noise through airways constricted by inflammation.
Coughing fits in babies are frightening to witness and may be triggered by mild stimulation such as startling sounds, feeding, or touching. Babies will become violently wracked by coughing fits and often take on a bluish-purple palor due to a lack of oxygen. Their eyes may bulge and water, cheeks may become flushed, they may stick out their tongue, push their chest forward and flail their limbs in distress. Many times infants will become markedly exhausted from the physical exertion of the coughing fits.
The most serious risk is posed to infants four months of age and younger.