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Old 05-26-2004, 08:54 PM   #1
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Whooping Cough in Young Adult???

My son was immunized (I think...but might have missed a few due to moving). He has developed this very strange cough....He has finished one course of antibiotics but he still coughs until he vomits. He says it is thick, sometimes white, sometimes yellow, sometimes green, sometimes with blood. He had fever initially but not anymore and no symptoms of cold, allergies or flu. He makes this loud, gasping whooping sound when he inhales. It has now been almost two months and it is not getting any better. His friends say he whooping cough. Is this possible? He says he doesn't want to go to the doctor.
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Old 05-27-2004, 12:46 PM   #2
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Re: Whooping Cough in Young Adult???

Quote:
Originally Posted by crabbycdn
My son was immunized (I think...but might have missed a few due to moving). He has developed this very strange cough....He has finished one course of antibiotics but he still coughs until he vomits. He says it is thick, sometimes white, sometimes yellow, sometimes green, sometimes with blood. He had fever initially but not anymore and no symptoms of cold, allergies or flu. He makes this loud, gasping whooping sound when he inhales. It has now been almost two months and it is not getting any better. His friends say he whooping cough. Is this possible? He says he doesn't want to go to the doctor.
Exactly how old is he? If he's under 18, MAKE him go to the doctor. Otherwise, I don't know what to tell you.

Is the cough spasmodic?

I'm not quite sure about whooping cough...his friends are right about the loud, whooping sound on inspiration being a symptom of whooping cough, but it's unlikely that he has it. Most places require immunization records nowadays and if he missed part of his MMR-DPT, you'd know it and they'd make sure you did.

Does asthma/allergies run in the family?
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Old 05-29-2004, 06:20 PM   #3
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Re: Whooping Cough in Young Adult???

He has just turned 18 (a month ago). He weighed himself yesterday and says he has lost 20 pounds (now 134, 5'11). He does not have allergies. We have one son with asthma so are kind of familiar with those symptoms. I am not sure what you mean by the cough being spasmodic. He just starts to cough...makes a whooping sound when he gasps for air and coughs until he throws up and then coughs some more. We moved a lot between provinces and I lost the immunization records in the process. Also, different provinces/health regions immunize on different schedules (or they used to). We have no idea whether he received all his immunization/boosters or not. He coughs up clumps of thick gluey mucous, of varying colours.....usually tinged with spots of blood or a bit rust coloured. Of course I cannot MAKE him go to the doctor and he is afraid that if he goes to the doctor and mentions whooping cough that he will be laughed at because this is generally believed to be a childhood illness. He has no idea where he could have picked it up either. A lot of people (including adults) who have heard his "whoop" think it is pertusis. A lot of other people tell him it couldn't be since this is a "baby" illness. Suggestions?
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Old 05-30-2004, 06:48 AM   #4
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Re: Whooping Cough in Young Adult???

Quote:
Originally Posted by crabbycdn
He has just turned 18 (a month ago). He weighed himself yesterday and says he has lost 20 pounds (now 134, 5'11). He does not have allergies. We have one son with asthma so are kind of familiar with those symptoms. I am not sure what you mean by the cough being spasmodic. He just starts to cough...makes a whooping sound when he gasps for air and coughs until he throws up and then coughs some more. We moved a lot between provinces and I lost the immunization records in the process. Also, different provinces/health regions immunize on different schedules (or they used to). We have no idea whether he received all his immunization/boosters or not. He coughs up clumps of thick gluey mucous, of varying colours.....usually tinged with spots of blood or a bit rust coloured. Of course I cannot MAKE him go to the doctor and he is afraid that if he goes to the doctor and mentions whooping cough that he will be laughed at because this is generally believed to be a childhood illness. He has no idea where he could have picked it up either. A lot of people (including adults) who have heard his "whoop" think it is pertusis. A lot of other people tell him it couldn't be since this is a "baby" illness. Suggestions?
He really needs to go to the doctor, especially since you're not sure of his immunization record. Tell him that no doctor would laugh at him for mentioning pertussis. If the doctor thought it was ridiculous, the doctor would tell him calmly that he doesn't think it's pertussis. Does your son have any chest pain? Has he had a fever lately? How has his appetite been? Does he get night sweats?

Pertussis is usually believed to be a childhood illness because some babies get the illness before they've received the vaccine. Most children will not be exposed to the bacterium before they're vaccinated. Due to widespread immunizations, pertussis is now kind of rare.

A spasmodic cough is a cough that comes in spasms. In pertussis, it would kind of be a pattern like this: cough, cough, cough, cough, cough, cough, cough, cough, cough, whoop on inhalation. These coughs may or may not have an inhalation between them.

I'll ask the moderator if I can post a website on here. It's about pertussis and it has a little sound clip that you can ******** that lets you know what pertussis sounds like.

Please reassure him that no doctor would laugh at him for mentioning pertussis. Then gently, but firmly encourage him to go to a doctor.
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Old 06-01-2004, 06:05 PM   #5
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Re: Whooping Cough in Young Adult???

I am 45 and 3 years back I developed similar symptoms to you son's. I actually got to the point of feeling as if I couldn't breathe...being brought to the ER by ambulance twice. This lasted over 3 months during which time I insisted on being tested for pertussis. They do a nasal swab for pertussis and it should be done ASAP because being on antiobiotics may give a false negative. Mine was positive and the doctors explained that the imminization for pertussis is only good for 10 years. Since I was diagnosed there were many oubreaks within our highschool in which memos were being sent home to parents to be on the lookout for symptoms...memos came out this past fall as well. I was sick for over 4 months with it...and ended up getting mono because you are prone to catching other things as well. Bring your son to an infectious disease specialist & insist that he be tested for pertussis. I went through all kinds of testing...and the doctors were thinking I was having panic attacks but they were quite surprised and apologetic when I came back positive and meanwhile I probably infected many other of their patients...Good Luck

Last edited by goody2shuz; 06-01-2004 at 06:07 PM.

 
Old 08-13-2004, 08:00 AM   #6
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Re: Whooping Cough in Young Adult???

Where I live we've got a whooping cough epidemic going on. Started with a bunch of older (10-15 year olds on the western part of the state. It's now hit our area. apparently there's no pertussis vaccination available after the age of 7 and after awhile the vaccine wears off. Was just a case at a major company in town and at my son's day care center. They recommend putting everyone in contact with this someone who has it on antibiotics for several days.

 
Old 08-13-2004, 11:05 PM   #7
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Re: Whooping Cough in Young Adult???

Well, this has been months past but I thought I would give everybody an update anyway. I finally dragged my son to the doctor -- who did ridicule him for thinking he had whooping cough incidentally. The doctor told him that he had bronchitis. My son did not agree since he has had this before and is familiar with the symptoms. In any case, he was put on one antibiotic for ten days and this was followed up with a second antibiotic for another ten days. The cough continued but eventually cleared up. He had to get some stitches out and went to see a LPN (licensed practical nurse) who used to do public health education. She had a listen, recorded his cough and played it back and said it was DEFINITELY whooping cough! She said that there would be no point doing a swab since he was on antibiotics but told him that in China that pertusis is called "100 day cough". He is fine now but has even less confidence in doctors (I wonder why).

Cheers all!
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Old 08-15-2004, 03:44 PM   #8
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Well, glad he is better. Sometimes Mom does know best.

Last edited by Canyondweller; 08-15-2004 at 03:49 PM.

 
Old 08-16-2004, 12:52 PM   #9
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Re: Whooping Cough in Young Adult???

SOMETIMES???? We have actually changed to a new family doctor who INSISTS that moms are USUALLY right (barring of course the abberant few who see zebras instead of horses ALL the time). Most moms I know have a "sense" when something is wrong with their children. We also have a dog who is very "in tune" with "her people" and seems to know when somebody is not well. There have been times when I have thought the kids were "faking it" to miss a test at school and I have told the dog to go and get one of the boys up. If the kid is in fact "faking it", the dog will pull the blankets off them and bring toys, balls, socks, etc. until the "fake" gives up and get up to go to school. If the child is legitimately not well, the dog will lay down beside them and lick or nuzzle "where it hurts". The kids appreciate this loving attentiveness when they are ill but call the dog "narc" "rat" "traitor" when she tattles on them. When I was in ICU, my husband smuggled our dog's pup in. They had a terrible time getting the dog to leave me. She lay across my chest (I was in for heart problems) and refused to budge. We watched the monitor and while she was laying there any nobody was pestering her, my heart rate dropped by about 25 bpm (this is good) and my blood pressure dropped into the low-normal range.
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Old 08-16-2004, 01:21 PM   #10
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Re: Whooping Cough in Young Adult???

Hope you told the doctor "I TOLD YOU SO". It took an older doctor in the western part of the state to figure out there was a pertussis epidemic going around. A friend of mine who has a friend who is a public health nurse in that area said the school districts weren't requiring vaccinations or checking records. There isn't a vaccine for Pertussis past the age of 7 in the states -- guess there is one available for adults in canada. All they can do is prescribe antibiotics for those who contract it and those who are in contact with him.

The main concern now is with school starting. The epidemic is just starting to hit the area now and classes start in about two weeks. Even though my child was vaccinated, he was put on antibiotics. They're going so far as to vaccinate children at birth, 6 weeks, 12 weeks... instead of 2 months, 4 months, 6 months & a year. Did an online search and a child in another state -- a small baby died from this. Scary stuff.

BTW, I once had a dog who kept laying on my chest or back while I was sleeping. I'd gone to the doctor, who told me I didn't have anything wrong even though I had a fever, cough, was exhausted. Two weeks later the clinic called and said they'd made a mistake. Luckily they'd done a chest x-ray and a radiologist going over the films determined I had pneumonia.

Last edited by Ratatosk; 08-16-2004 at 01:25 PM.

 
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