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Cold vs. pertussis: only time will tell?

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
I think the media has me feeling a bit paranoid right now. The CA outbreak is all over the news here right now and wouldn't you know it? Dd has come down with cold symptoms (runny nose, congestion, sneezing). Everywhere I look lists the early symptoms of pertussis as being similar to those of a common cold. So is there any way to actually tell the difference? Or do we just have to wait and see if she develops a cough? I wouldn't actually be all that concerned, but school starts next week (she is starting K) and I really don't want her to miss the start of her first week of school!

Any insights on cold symptoms vs. early pertussis symptoms?


...
post #2 of 32
From my read of it, you can't tell. You've got some SA? I'm guessing that if you pay attention to bowel tolerance, and it doesn't start going down in whatever a reasonable timeframe is for your child--for mine, I'd think 3-4 days--then I'd start to consider it more seriously.
post #3 of 32
I just went through the same thing with my dd (8) and ds (6). Dd was first. She woke up with a fever one morning. Kind of seemed like she had some cold symptoms. 5 days later she started having coughing fits to the point of vomiting. Fever lasted 7 days, coughing lasted a couple of weeks. Two weeks later ds started with the same thing. He's still coughing. I didn't do any type of treatment at all. Well, ds asked for some Hall's cough drops so I got him some of those.

I didn't seek any treatment because our ped just won't give antibiotics unless she gets a positive culture. The pertussis culture apparently takes about 2 weeks, and at that point it would've been too late anyway. They've both recovered very well, so I guess I did the right thing. I'm sure the media has played some part in my thinking that this could be pertussis.
post #4 of 32
Thread Starter 
So how long until we know we are "safe"? It's been about 4 days and no cough yet.
post #5 of 32
We're in the midst of this now. Our 3-month-old has had fever, runny nose, cough for a few weeks. We've been back and forth to the doctor and she has (wisely) tried to wait it out, but the coughing fits are getting worse so now she'svomiting when she coughs. We're seeing a ped tomorrow.
It's so hard to tell without the culture. I didn't know it's a two week wait either :/. I guess we'll see what the ped says.
post #6 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by EVC View Post
So how long until we know we are "safe"? It's been about 4 days and no cough yet.
My kids both started coughing on about day 6. At that point, the fever and cold symptoms were pretty much gone.

Our friend is an ER doctor and he said there have been cases of pertussis in our area, so it could be what they had.

Sanguine: My kids are much older than your baby, and I wasn't as concerned with them since it really isn't too risky children over the age of 1 to have pertussis. Good luck at the peds! I hope your little one gets well soon.
post #7 of 32
My DS started coughing about 10 days after the initial runny nose. He didn't have a fever. There's no mistaking the cough. He had the characteristic whoop and vomiting.

SA made all the difference in management and recovery. Once we got enough into him and got the dose right, the illness was more annoying than anything else, but no longer scary.

He recovered fine, no complications at all, in about 4-5 weeks total.
post #8 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
My DS started coughing about 10 days after the initial runny nose.
Did have any cough prior to the "real" start? Or was the only symptom during those first days a runny nose?
post #9 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by EVC View Post
Did have any cough prior to the "real" start? Or was the only symptom during those first days a runny nose?
With him, just the runny nose. I think that's why I wasn't really alarmed about it...I just thought it was a lingering cold or allergies.

Silly me too...my DH was the one who brought it home and he was coughing evenings and at night (no whooping obviously, just a hacking paroxysmal cough), but since he works in industrial settings with lots of crap in the air and he's a "reformed" smoker (as in sneaks them away from the house once in a while), then I didn't pay much attention to his cough until DS started whooping. Then I knew what was going on...
post #10 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
With him, just the runny nose.
Oh, that is frustrating! Sneaky, sneaky pertussis

We still don't have a cough and I'm slipping some SA into her juice as a precaution. We'll see....
post #11 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by EVC View Post
Oh, that is frustrating! Sneaky, sneaky pertussis

We still don't have a cough and I'm slipping some SA into her juice as a precaution. We'll see....
Yeah, it is sneaky...you'll know either way in a few days. Make sure you have enough SA on hand to get through it, if that's what it is. If it is pertussis, the first few days will be tough until the SA kicks in and the dose is adequate to mitigate the toxins...afterwards, it'll be like night and day...DS's vomiting and whooping stopped...still had the paroxysmal coughing but nowhere near as bad. So, just a heads up to be prepared. And kids come through it differently...some take longer and have a tougher time getting through it than others. My DS did pretty well...he was done in about 4-5 weeks total and recovered with no complications. My DH took about twice as long to get better, but then he's not as healthy (junk food addict and sneaks smokes away from the house) and he wasn't faithful with the SA (he couldn't be bothered half the time).
post #12 of 32
Thread Starter 
Well, one thing I've noticed over the past few days is that she's significantly less stuffy outside. The moment we return home, her nose stuffs up again. I don't know if that means that it's an allergy to something in our house, or whether fresh air and sunshine are just generally good for one's health. Either way, I'm not letting my guard down yet. (As you can tell from my other post to which you recently responded, this whole WC thing has thrown me for a loop--I'm sure a lot of it just comes from my general anxiety about dd starting school ). Sigh. Back to waiting....
post #13 of 32
So, any updates? I've been wondering how things are going in your house...
post #14 of 32
I'm beginning to think this is what we're dealing with here. We're in the Philly 'burbs & it's been on the news & in the papers that it's hitting hard in our area.

It started at the end of July, all of the kids had a mild cough/runny nose. That lasted 4-5 days & then Ds's morphed into horrendous coughing where he couldn't inhale & his lips would start to turn blue - along with vomiting. The "whoop" wasn't what I expected, but when I listened to the pertussis cough examples online, his sounded nearly identical. The "whoop" for him was his finally being able to inhale air, such a scary thing when he couldn't get air in.

I finally took him to the ER after a week of it & they did a chest x-ray & dx'd him with pneumonia & gave him 5 days of zithromax - which is what they use for pertussis too. It still took him a long time to improve. He's now finally down to one coughing attack each night where he still has trouble inhaling, but it only lasts about 30 seconds as opposed to 2-3 minutes.

Dd2 & I have had this awful cough for 2-3 weeks now. Mine is driving me insane because I'm just entering my third trimester & I keep peeing in my pants & having contractions when I have a coughing attack. It's soooooo much worse during the night - why is that? Poor Dd2, I can hear her hacking away all night too.

I tried sleeping for well over an hour tonight & gave up. It's SO frustrating.

I'm going to go take some SA right now. I need to be better about it.

Any tips for soothing the cough during the night? Raw honey seems to help ease it a little bit, but I still cough continuously, it's just not as violent.
post #15 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metasequoia View Post
I'm beginning to think this is what we're dealing with here. We're in the Philly 'burbs & it's been on the news & in the papers that it's hitting hard in our area.

It started at the end of July, all of the kids had a mild cough/runny nose. That lasted 4-5 days & then Ds's morphed into horrendous coughing where he couldn't inhale & his lips would start to turn blue - along with vomiting. The "whoop" wasn't what I expected, but when I listened to the pertussis cough examples online, his sounded nearly identical. The "whoop" for him was his finally being able to inhale air, such a scary thing when he couldn't get air in.

I finally took him to the ER after a week of it & they did a chest x-ray & dx'd him with pneumonia & gave him 5 days of zithromax - which is what they use for pertussis too. It still took him a long time to improve. He's now finally down to one coughing attack each night where he still has trouble inhaling, but it only lasts about 30 seconds as opposed to 2-3 minutes.

Dd2 & I have had this awful cough for 2-3 weeks now. Mine is driving me insane because I'm just entering my third trimester & I keep peeing in my pants & having contractions when I have a coughing attack. It's soooooo much worse during the night - why is that? Poor Dd2, I can hear her hacking away all night too.

I tried sleeping for well over an hour tonight & gave up. It's SO frustrating.

I'm going to go take some SA right now. I need to be better about it.

Any tips for soothing the cough during the night? Raw honey seems to help ease it a little bit, but I still cough continuously, it's just not as violent.
Yup sounds like WC to me. Truly your best bet is the proper dosage of SA. It has to be an effective dose and you have to be consistent with it.
post #16 of 32
Just found out it is indeed pertussis. I hope it's over soon.
post #17 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marnica View Post
Yup sounds like WC to me. Truly your best bet is the proper dosage of SA. It has to be an effective dose and you have to be consistent with it.
You'll see a huge difference once you get the dose right...with my DS, it was like night and day...he was still paroxysmal, but the whooping and vomiting was gone. And he was able to sleep through the nights instead of coughing every few minutes.

Hope things are better for you soon Metasequoia...hang in there.
post #18 of 32
You mean I have to go by bowel tolerance, right? I've taken grams and grams today and haven't so much as farted. Guess I'm needing A LOT right now...

Thanks mamas.
post #19 of 32
Yeah, the amount will be different for everyone. My DS is just a little fella...he was about 28-29lbs when he had it and he hit bowel tolerance at about 5g. We kept him at that dose until his whooping and vomiting had stopped and then slowly started tapering the SA dose down...
post #20 of 32
So once you reach bowel tolerance - how often do you repeat the dose? For your LO, you'd give 5 grams how often?
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