Did you know that whooping cough can lead to life-threatening conditions? This article deals with information on the dangers or complications of whooping cough.
The name whooping cough comes from the sound ‘whoop’ that occurs when a person is suffering from coughs. Whooping cough is also known as pertussis. A few decades ago, whooping cough was one of the most common causes of deaths in children and babies all around the world. Today the frequency of the disease has reduced by a great deal due to the availability of vaccination. However, one cannot ignore the possible dangers of whooping cough that can occur, if the condition is left untreated or is not treated properly. Let us first take a brief look at the disease and then know more on the dangers related to it.
What is Whooping Cough
Whooping cough is a respiratory disorder caused by bacteria known as Bordetella pertussis. The bacteria cause infection in the lungs which gives rise to certain symptoms like cough, mild fever, nasal congestion, vomiting, fatigue, etc. However, the symptoms of this condition, at an early stage, appear similar to the symptoms of common cold. The severe symptoms like face turning red or blue, sever dry cough, etc., develop a week later and hence, identifying this condition early is very difficult.
Whooping cough is highly contagious and can be transmitted from person to person through the droplets expelled out while sneezing and coughing. This condition can be found in people of all age groups; but babies and children are at a higher risk of contracting it. Antibiotics are used for the treatment of whooping cough.
Risks of Whooping Cough
As mentioned above, due to the availability of advanced treatment methods and vaccination, the chances of contracting whooping cough is relatively less. Secondly, due to the same reasons, the chances of death occurring due to whooping cough are further lessened. According to the statistics, deaths occurring due to whooping cough are as low as 0.2% of the total cases. However, this does not mean that there cannot be any possibility of death. As there are reported deaths caused due to this disease, one should be aware of the whooping cough risks and take care in order to prevent them.
One of the most common risk or side effect that can occur in people suffering from whooping cough is secondary infection. The infection in the lungs can worsen and lead to bacterial pneumonia. You must be aware that pneumonia of any kind can be serious and life-threatening. Therefore, more than 50% of the cases of the total number of deaths caused due to whooping cough, are caused due to bacterial pneumonia. It should be noted that the effects of bacterial pneumonia are more pronounced and severe in babies and children.
Secondly, another danger associated with whooping cough is that the paroxysm or the sudden attack of the cough can leave the baby breathless. It is found that whooping cough in infants and babies can be very dangerous. In order to avoid the side effects of paroxysm, babies are usually kept on ventilators if they contract whooping cough. Now, during pregnancy, the condition does not cause any noticeable side effect. But, if the woman suffers from whooping cough during childbirth, the baby contracts it. And as mentioned above, whooping cough in babies (below 1 year of age) can be very dangerous.
One of the other risk associated with the disease is that as it is a highly contagious disease, it is spread very easily. Lastly, although you should be aware of these potential dangers, you should also remember that the possibility of death occurring due to whooping cough is very rare. Whooping cough can be treated and cured completely. Take care!