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Possible whooping cough? ADDED: How long to keep out of school?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

My son is 11 (this week) and is unvaccinated.  He has had a cough for over 2 weeks and on Friday was diagnosed with bronchitis and put on antibiotics.  He is getting even worse and the last 3 days has been having horrible coughing fits that end in him vomiting.  He has vomited 20+ times a day in the last 3 days from coughing.  He is barely eating and has a low-grade fever.  I am not hearing a whooping sound at all though.  I am taking him back to the dr today but I am wondering if this sounds like it could be whooping cough?  I don't know where he would have been exposed to it though.

Edited by Heavenly - 1/18/12 at 8:14pm
post #2 of 10

Ask them to test for it!  You don't have to hear the whoop for it to be Pertussis.  

post #3 of 10

My children had contracted whooping cough last year and it lasted for ten weeks. The whooping sound didn't come about until around week three when the coughing became worse. My daughter was in preschool and from what I have learned after the fact, unvaccinated children whom attend public schools have been known to contract whooping cough by coming in contact with vaccinated children who have parapertussis as a result of their vaccination. The diagnosis of parapertussis in vaccinated children is often overlooked because it is assumed that if a child has been vaccinated, then they do not have it. This assumption is wrong!!

  If it is pertussis, there are many things that I did for my children that helped us get through it. My children's doctor had no advice to offer about how to deal with pertussis so I had tried almost everything I could find until I found things that work. If you would like more info I will gladly share, as I created a whole folder to document what made it better or worse.

  I hope your DS is feeling better soon and that it isn't pertusis. If it is, don't panic! My children made it through and are very healthy one year later. One last thing, antibiotics will NOT speed up recovery as this is an illness that must run its course. Taking an antibiotic will kill all of the good bacteria that could aid in helping your little man get better, which will delay the recovery. 

post #4 of 10



  The link provided is just one of the many about parapertussis and it's association to the pertussis vaccine. There are many more on the link's site. Even though you may not be able to naturally prevent your child from contracting a disease if you do not vaccinate, it is still very important to educate yourself so you can be prepared if you do encounter a situation where additional information is needed. The website listed is a goverment site and has a lot more information on many oter topics. I do most of my fact finding from this site. I hope you are able to gain something from it as well.  :-)

post #5 of 10

Have you tried giving sodium ascorbate?  That would be the first thing I would do with suspected pertussis.


post #6 of 10

It could also be flu.  We have seen lots of it in my area, and all say the COUGH lasts forever and can be nasty.  If it is a virus, it of course won't respond to antibiotics.  

Some kids have sensitive gag too when it comes to a bad cough.  They throw up from it.  So sorry to hear how sick he has been, I hope it calms down soon.

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

We are pretty sure it is whooping cough.  He is still having the bouts of coughing that end in vomitting.  Between those bouts he seems fine.  He already had 5 days of erythromycin when we thought it was bronchitis and they put him on an inhaler but it doesn't seem to help much.  We're not going to bother getting a formal diagnosis because there is nothing more that can be done at this point but to wait it out.


My question now is how long to keep him out of school?  According to everything I've read if they've had a course of erythromycin then they are not longer infectious.  Is this accurate or not?  I can't keep him out of school for the whole course of the cough because he will get really far behind (he is on an IEP and has multiple learning disabilities so school is quite hard for him).  I would like to send him to school but if he has a coughing/vomiting fit I'm not sure how they would handle that.


As for treatment we are using a vaporizer in his room and giving him honey followed by warm water (recommended by a nurse on telehealth ontario).  We are also letting him suck on menthol cough drops and I just bought a natural expectorant cough syrup I thought we could try.  Other than that I'm not quite sure what to do.  If it is whooping cough are my girls likely to get it at as well?  They are also not vaccinated.  My husband and I were vaccinated as children but haven't updated in years.

post #8 of 10

If he has already had the round of antibiotics then he shouldn't be passing it on to others. We had WC, and the ones that got antibiotics were pronounced fine to return to work, etc... once the course was finished. Someone else in the family might get it or maybe not. It is one of those things that only time will tell. We were a family of 4 when we got it, and everyone did end up with it. 

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

Both my husband and I are starting to feel sick now.  We'll know in a week or so I guess it is whooping cough.  Right now we both have congestion, fatigue, starting to cough, low-grade fever off and on.  The girls don't have any symptoms so far.

post #10 of 10

Hello, I hope your child is a lot better since suffering from whooping cough.  What technique has you used.  I really would like to know.  I am open to any ideas.  My daughter is 8, and it started off with a cough for 2 weeks, we were thinking it was her asthma acting up, and gave her breathing treatments etc.  Now its going on 3 weeks with the coughing up phylem then all the food that she has eaten in that little time span.  Please tell me what have you used to make your child better? Thank you,


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