10 basic things to know about whooping cough in babies

The article was professionally consulted with Doctor of Pediatrics - Neonatology - Vinmec Nha Trang International General Hospital.
Whooping cough is a highly contagious bacterial infection that infects the lungs and respiratory tract. Whooping cough is especially dangerous, and can even be fatal, for babies under the age of one, so it needs immediate treatment.

1. Whooping cough

Whooping cough is an infectious disease. The disease causes severe (paroxysmal) coughs. The disease mainly affects infants and young children. Whooping cough comes from the strange, bird-like sounds that children often make when sick and when trying to take deep breaths between coughs. For infants, coughing may not be strong enough to produce this characteristic wheezing sound.
Whooping cough was once called a "100-day cough" because the illness can last for weeks to months. The illness usually begins like a common cold, with a runny nose, sneezing, mild cough, or fever. After 1 to 2 weeks, a severe cough begins. The cough usually ends with a croaking noise when the air is inhaled. During coughs, babies and children have difficulty eating, drinking, or breathing. These conditions can last for weeks. Whooping cough in infants can cause periods of not breathing (apnea). Whooping cough is more severe in children under 1 year of age, and can be fatal in some cases.
The whooping cough vaccine can help prevent the disease. But vaccines are not 100% effective. And epidemics have occurred in places where vaccine rates have dropped. If pertussis is widespread in an area, there is a chance that a person who has been vaccinated against whooping cough could still get it. The protection of vaccines also fades over time. Teens and adults who have not had a booster shot can spread the disease during an outbreak.

2. Causes of pertussis in children

Whooping cough is caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis. The disease is very contagious. Pertussis bacteria also infect the windpipe, where they cause persistent, intense coughing fits. The disease is spread from one child to another through coughing and sneezing. Once the bacteria are in the baby's airway, it causes airway swelling and increased mucus production.
Whooping cough is especially dangerous, and can even be fatal, for babies under one year of age.

3. Symptoms of pertussis in children

Early Symptoms: Whooping cough usually begins with cold or hot symptoms that last 1 or 2 weeks, but sometimes last up to 3 weeks. These symptoms may include:
Sneezing Runny nose Mild or occasional cough Low-grade fever Later stage symptoms : After a week or two, a child with whooping cough will usually develop additional recognizable symptoms. symptoms such as:
Coughs that quickly last for 20 or 30 seconds without stopping, followed by a "cough" sound as the child struggles to breathe before the next cough begins. The cough is usually worse at night. Coughing up or vomiting mucus Exhaustion after coughing spells Lips and fingernails turn blue from lack of oxygen during coughing spells. Special dangers and symptoms to watch out for in infants Whooping cough can be very dangerous for infants and children under the age of one, especially susceptible to complications such as pneumonia, convulsions, trauma. brain, even death. If you think your child may have whooping cough, see your doctor right away.
Some children don't cough or wheeze at all when they have whooping cough. Instead, the child may show other symptoms, including:
Panting, Red face, Stop breathing for a few seconds. Vomiting It is important to closely monitor a child with whooping cough in case the child stops breathing. If your baby is having trouble breathing, take her to the nearest emergency room. Also take your child to the emergency room if he or she has persistent vomiting, seizures, or signs of dehydration.
Ho gà ở trẻ sơ sinh
Ho gà ở trẻ sơ sinh là rất nguy hiểm và cần lưu ý

4. The duration of whooping cough

Whooping cough can last up to 10 weeks, or even longer, although coughs will usually begin to subside within six weeks.
Typical disease progression is: Stage one: Cold symptoms for 1 to 2 weeks
Stage two: Cough lasts for 1 to 6 weeks
Stage three: Gradual recovery with coughs sometimes lasts 2 to 3 weeks
Note that the illness is usually less severe and heals faster in people who have received the pertussis vaccine .

5. Identify children with whooping cough

Whooping cough is very contagious. Children can become infected by coming into direct contact with an infected person or simply by breathing air contaminated with the bacteria. Bacteria usually enter the nose or throat.
Young children are particularly susceptible to pertussis because they don't start getting the DTaP vaccine until they're 2 months old. Children can also get the disease from a sibling, parent, or caregiver who doesn't even know they have it.
People with pertussis are most contagious in the early stages of the disease, until about 2 weeks after coughing episodes begin.

6. Did the child get whooping cough after being vaccinated?

Yes, because the pertussis vaccine is not 100% effective. However, children are less likely to get whooping cough if they are vaccinated, and if they do, symptoms are usually milder.
Most children get some kind of vaccine against whooping cough (pertussis) such as the 6-in-1, 5-in-1 vaccine, DTaP, which also protects against diphtheria and tetanus. The shots start when the child is 2 months old and continue until the child is 4 to 6 years old. Then, at age 11 or 12, your child will get an extra dose of protection against whooping cough like TdaP.
Protection against this disease increases with each shot, so a child's risk is lowest after the fifth dose, between 4 and 6 years of age.
Pertussis cases dropped dramatically after the introduction of the pertussis vaccine in the 1940s, although numbers have increased slightly again over the past few decades. In 2018, there were more than 15,000 cases of pertussis reported in the United States. Most of these infections are in children under 1 year of age.
Ho gà ở trẻ sơ sinh
Trẻ đã tiêm phòng vắc-xin vẫn có thể bị ho gà trở lại

7. Diagnosing whooping cough

To know if your child has whooping cough, the doctor can apply several methods to diagnose:
Listen to the child's cough Pick the nose and throat to check for pertussis bacteria cells.

8. Treatment of whooping cough

If the doctor suspects that your child has whooping cough, he or she will give your child antibiotics to fight the infection right away. Your doctor won't wait for test results, as these can take some time, and it's important to treat whooping cough as soon as possible.
Antibiotics can help relieve symptoms if taken very early. If used later, they may not shorten the course of the illness, but they can still remove bacteria from the child's secretions, preventing the child from spreading the disease to others. Other than that, there's not much you can do other than wait for your child's cough to subside. Of course, if your cough gets worse even with antibiotics, call your doctor right away.
About half of children under one year of age with whooping cough require hospital treatment. Most of these babies have stopped breathing, or pneumonia. Children admitted to the hospital may need oxygen and intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration.

9. Caring for a child with whooping cough at home

If your child is diagnosed with whooping cough, there are a few things you can do to help your child heal quickly and stay comfortable:
Follow the antibiotic schedule exactly as your doctor has prescribed. Use a cool-mist humidifier to keep the air in your child's room moist. Keep your home free of irritants like smoke and dust. Make sure your baby stays hydrated at all times (note that if your baby is under 6 months old, they should only drink breast milk or formula). Tell your doctor right away any signs of dehydration. If your child is eating solid foods, encourage small meals every few hours to prevent vomiting. Do not give cough suppressants to your child unless your doctor recommends it. Cough medicines are not generally recommended for children under 6 years of age. Coughing is a natural response of the body when it needs to clear mucus in the lungs. If you suppress that response, you may be hindering your child's ability to heal.

10. Prevention of whooping cough

Vaccination is the best way to protect against whooping cough. Below are vaccine recommendations for each age group.
For children: Vaccinate 6 in 1, 5 in 1, Tdap on schedule.
For adolescents and adults : Tdap booster vaccine. Tdap can prevent people who are vaccinated against pertussis and passing it on to babies.
For pregnant women: Get Tdap vaccine during each pregnancy, preferably between 27 and 36 weeks.
In addition, there are several other ways to prevent whooping cough including:
Antibiotics. If a child is diagnosed with pertussis, all close contacts of the child should also be treated with antibiotics. Wash hands the right way . Scrub hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer. Cover your child's mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. If a tissue is not available, use your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands. Vinmec International General Hospital currently has a diversified and complete source of vaccines available according to the immunization schedule for children of all ages. When bringing their children to get vaccinated at Vinmec, parents can rest assured because the vaccine source is always of high quality, of clear origin, appropriate for the age to be vaccinated, and is safe from the stage of inspection. import, store until use.
A team of experienced pediatric doctors and nurses will screen children before vaccination to ensure the best health condition when vaccinated. The vaccination process meets national and international standards. After the injection, the child will be monitored for reactions and will leave when the health condition is stable.
With a full range of emergency equipment and facilities, a team of doctors - nurses who are well-trained in vaccines can promptly handle anaphylaxis according to the recommended regimen.
To register for pertussis vaccination for children at Vinmec International General Hospital system. Please make an appointment at the website to be served.

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Reference source: babycenter.com
Bài viết này được viết cho người đọc tại Sài Gòn, Hà Nội, Hồ Chí Minh, Phú Quốc, Nha Trang, Hạ Long, Hải Phòng, Đà Nẵng.

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