Is pertussis contagious? By which way?

Whooping cough is a highly contagious respiratory infection. The presentation is initially a violent cough followed by a gasp that sounds like a "cry". Before vaccines were introduced, pertussis was seen as a childhood illness, a dreaded threat in pregnant women and in newborns.

1. What is pertussis?

Whooping cough is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by the pertussis bacteria Bordetella pertussis. The pertussis bacteria are characterized by attaching to the cilia located in the upper respiratory tract, releasing toxins, damaging the cilia and causing the airways to swell.
Whooping cough is known for its intense, uncontrolled coughs, which often make it extremely difficult for the patient to breathe. After a long, dry cough, a person with whooping cough often needs to take a deep breath, which causes a squeak-like sound. Whooping cough can affect people of all ages but can become very serious, even fatal, in children under one year of age.
However, this disease is no longer a scary threat today as the best way to protect against whooping cough is to get vaccinated. Even so, one of the risk factors for getting pertussis is when the pertussis vaccine you received as a child has worn off. Therefore, it is this that will leave most adolescents and adults susceptible to repeat pertussis infections and go on to have more frequent outbreaks. At the same time, infants under 12 months of age who have not been vaccinated or have not received all of the recommended vaccines are also at increased risk of contracting infantile pertussis, which can lead to serious complications and death. .
vi khuẩn gây bệnh ho gà
Vi khuẩn gây bệnh ho gà là Bordetella pertussis

2. Whooping cough is transmitted by which way?

Whooping cough is a highly contagious disease that is found only in humans. Accordingly, this disease is transmitted from person to person. People with whooping cough often transmit the disease to others by coughing or sneezing droplets. Moreover, when in close contact for a long time, sharing the same breathing space is also a way of transmission. In fact, many babies with pertussis are infected by older siblings, parents or caregivers, or from people around them who may not even know they have it.
After the bacteria invade the airways, infected people are most contagious until about 2 weeks after coughing symptoms begin. Thus, the process of infection has occurred when there are no symptoms at all.
If treated, antibiotics can shorten the time that pathogens are transmitted from sick people to cold people. Meanwhile, the whooping cough vaccine is the most effective tool to prevent transmission of this disease. However, no vaccine is 100% effective and the effectiveness lasts for life.

3. What are the symptoms of whooping cough?

Once a healthy person is infected with pertussis, it takes about seven to 10 days for whooping cough to incubate and the first signs and symptoms appear, although it can sometimes take longer. Meanwhile, this is the time of the most intense community transmission that cannot be warned to protect and develop prevention measures. Furthermore, early symptoms are often mild and resemble a common cold, making them easy to miss:
Runny nose Congested nose Red eyes Watery eyes Fever Dry cough After a week or two, the above symptoms will appear. become worse. The thick mucus that builds up inside the airways will irritate it continuously, causing an uncontrollable cough. Severe and persistent coughs can provoke vomiting, increased pressure on the face and neck, fatigue, poor appetite, fatigued breathing, rapid breathing, rapid breathing, and ending with high-frequency sounds during breathing. next.
However, a few present with atypical symptoms. At this point, a persistent cough may be the only sign that an adolescent or adult may have whooping cough.
In contrast, when infant pertussis occurs, the child may not cough at all, due to insufficient force to cough. Instead, the child will be very restless to breathe or may even temporarily stop breathing. Thus, complications of infant pertussis are often more serious, such as leading to severe pneumonia, slow breathing or stopping breathing. Even complications from pertussis can be life-threatening for babies under 6 months of age or cause seizures and brain damage.
triệu chứng ho gà
Ho khan lâu ngày là triệu chứng bệnh ho gà

4. How can whooping cough be prevented?

The best way to prevent pertussis is with the pertussis vaccine. In practice, doctors often give the combination of pertussis vaccine with vaccines against two other serious diseases such as diphtheria and tetanus to minimize the number of shots.
Whooping cough vaccination is recommended for all infants and young children, the elderly and adolescents, and pregnant women. Adults who have never been vaccinated should also get the whooping cough vaccine.
For infants and young children, they usually need 3 doses of vaccine to increase protection against the triad of diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. Young children then need 2 booster shots to maintain that protection throughout childhood. As such, vaccinations are recommended according to the pertussis vaccination schedule at the following ages:
2 April June 6 Month 15 April 18 to 6 years In a comprehensive health care role for the community , Vinmec International General Hospital is ready to provide vaccination needs for most infectious diseases circulating in Vietnam. As a place of trust for many parents, Vinmec has become a reliable place to vaccinate babies and young children. In particular, vaccines against whooping cough, diphtheria, and tetanus are one of the mandatory injections in the national expanded immunization program.
Thanks to high-quality infrastructure and professional staff, the role of vaccination at Vinmec International Hospital is increasingly popular, becoming a place to perform disease prevention and health care. Comprehensive fit for all family members. For young children alone, when bringing their children to get vaccinated at Vinmec, parents will be satisfied with the service conditions, kindness, courtesy and the function of reminding the child's vaccination schedule as well as periodic pediatric growth check-ups during the day. each visit. And most of all, it is a space to keep track of the disease after vaccination, which is both a place for children to play, and an environment for parents to exchange and advise on child-rearing knowledge.
In summary, pertussis is a highly contagious disease that spreads through respiratory contact. If not treated properly, pertussis can cause life-threatening airway problems in young children. Because vaccines have proven effective in preventing this disease, parents need to pay attention to fully vaccinate their children to ensure the best development for their children.
If you notice any unusual problems in your child, you should take your baby to see a doctor and consult a specialist.

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