Whooping Cough Questions about Immunity (we've just had it) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 2 Old 01-24-2014, 10:56 AM - Thread Starter
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I have a couple of specific questions I'm having a hard time finding the answers to, I'm hoping someone can offer their advice or sources to where I can find this info.


A bit of background first........  I have 2 girls, aged 3 and 5.  They are both completely un-vaxed (we are considering starting selective vaxing at some point).  


My 5 year old has just had pertussis.  She had a positive swab for it and we are just finishing up the second stage, where the paroxysms were quite severe.  She has just had her first 3 - 4 nights with just a couple and they are much more mild.


We got a positive swab for her after about 5 - 6 days of paroxysms and starter her on antibiotics right away (Azithromycin).  I do know the information about antibiotics, mainly that they are recommended to stop the spread of it and do not always help actual symptoms.  (No antibiotic flames please, this is the first time in 5.5 years she has taken them, we carefully made this decision).  With that being said I DO feel that the antibiotics quite signficantly decreased both the frequency and intensity of her paroxysms, by day 5 on them she was down to one per night and none in the day.  I'm feeling thankful we made the decision to do them. (And if anyone is wondering we also followed protocol for treating it with sodium ascorbate right from when she had the cold-like symptoms at the beginning - among a few other things from our naturopath - I'm sure all of these things contributed.)


We started my 3 year old (and my husband and myself) on the same antibiotics as we all had symptoms.  My 3 year old had significant symptoms of the first stage (very bad congestion, fever, headache, generally felt unwell - same as my 5 year old had).  Some dry coughing, but not much.  So we are pretty sure she was on her way to getting it, despite her nasal swab did not come back positive.  She has never developed the paroxysms and it's been a week since she finished her antibiotics.


My question is:  How can we find out if my 3-year old had it?  I've been told there is no blood test available for this where we live (we're in Canada).  And is there any way to determine without a blood test that she'll now have natural immunity to pertussis?  I'm HOPING that she'll have some immunity to it.  But I'm worried she did not have enough time to develop antibodies to it before we started antibiotics - does anyone know how much time is needed?  She may have had the first stage symptoms for a couple of weeks before, but it's hard to tell.  I'm worried, given there seems to be an outbreak at our elementary - and now my Mom is showing symptoms.  I REALLY do not want to go through paroxysms with her.


I know my 5 year old with now have natural immunity.  How long does that last?  I'm having difficulty finding un-biased info on this too.  


One last question - any suggestions/supplements to help my 5 year old recover completely and avoid any lasting effects from this?  We're still doing sodium ascorbate, just not in as high doses.....


Thanks for reading and thanks in advance for sharing experience, knowledge or links to where I can find info!


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#2 of 2 Old 01-24-2014, 07:16 PM
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Blood titer testing is the only real way to tell. Many labs in the US do it, I don't understand why they couldn't in Canada. But honestly I wouldn't bother testing, myself. But we're more firmly against most vaccines. Studies show the immunity after a case of pertussis lasting from 4-20 years, varies how fast it fades by the individual. I think my husband and I had a mild case in 2012, same initial symptoms and almost 2 months of dry cough afterward, no whooping sound though.

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