Possible pertussis exposure w/ 1 mo old? - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 7 Old 01-15-2010, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My youngest sister was in the ER last night, went in with terrible coughing, came out with a pertussis (whooping cough) dx and antibiotics. She's apparently non-contageous at this point (she's been coughing like crazy on and off since Thanksgiving, but has reactive airway, so didn't seek treatment early) but no idea when she actually got it.

She was home with my family for Christmas; we weren't there, but she was around everyone else, including my 1 year old niece and 2 year old step-nephew).

Mom came to meet V over New Year's, had a very mild cold- nothing really more than a sore throat, very slight cough; we chalked it up to the weather and holiday stress- it wasn't near bad enough for me to be concerned re her holding/kissing the baby. Dad and step-mom were here the following weekend (aka, last weekend.) Both seemed fine. Mom saw her dr this am, is now on the z-pack. Dad and step-mom are heading in today, my sister has a call out to her ped, etc.

For those who don't know, pertussis is highly contagious, and just looks like a cold in the first stage (which is also the most contagious stage) and has an incubation of 7-21 days, meaning my parents, who were exposed over Christmas, could very well have been incubating/ in the early stage while here visiting.

I put a call into V's ped this am, was told to watch for any cold-like symptoms and call immediately if any of us show anything like that in the next 2ish weeks.

I'm wondering what else I should do. She's alert and cheery as always, but is being a tiny bit more clingy and wants to nurse a little more than usual. DH is picking up a rectal thermometer as I clear forgot to get one, but the dumb temple thermometer is giving me temps of 99.2-99.5 (but also giving me temps of 98.whatever, 75%+ of the temps are in the low to mid 99 range, who knows, though.)

Anything specific to watch for? She's still doing the newborn sneeze and cough thing- do I just worry if it gets "bad"?

Thanks so much.

(V's just over a month old, EBF, otherwise bright and healthy.)

Doctors aren't out to kill you or your children. Childbirth isn't inherently safe. Science is actually smarter than your intuition. Lighten up. Use sunscreen.

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#2 of 7 Old 01-15-2010, 04:23 PM
 
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s No one likes having a babe not feeling well!!

First, I would not use the rectal thermometer or be careful not to over use it. Get a less invasive one (you can easily do it wrong and cause damage). Since she's a newborn you do want to watch and call if it's over 100.4 (I believe...someone else, is that right/). Support her immune system in the meantime by taking vitamin c and cod liver oil (for vit D) yourself and nurse all she wants.

Second, I am skeptical of their pertussis diagnosis. I'm not saying they don't have it, but I'd be surprised if it really was pertussis. There is a pretty tell-tale cough and there are many viruses that are cold like and with a cough. Again, wait and see.

Lastly, she's ebf and has innumerable benefits from your breastmilk for warding off illnesses, including pertussis if it is going around.

So, in the end, watch and wait and see and keep taking care of your babe. Hope your LO feels better soon .

Alicia, wife to an loving and faithful DH, and mama to three fantastic though nutty children (cs, then a fast HBAC, then a fast VBAC!!). Planning a third VBAC, again at home, in February 2016.
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#3 of 7 Old 01-15-2010, 04:23 PM
 
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Research old pertussis threads in Health and Healing. If you search under my user name I know I've typed the info out a number of times! I only popped in to MDC while nursing DS, I desperately have to work on a grant or I'd search for you. You can take SA yourself and it will pass through your milk or pump and give some in a bottle mixed with BM. SA is the best thing for pertussis.

I had a newborn get pertussis, DD2 was exposed at birth although she did not get very ill until 5-6 weeks of age. She was hospitalized by the time she was 6 weeks old. She did get the very minor cold symptoms about 2 weeks before the cough set in. The cold symptoms were nothing then a cough once in a great while, when the real pertussis cough set in, it came on very suddenly. Good luck.

ETA: I saw the other poster talked about the rectal therm, I forgot to address that. I don't know if I would be taking a temp. Yeah, she may get sick, but it will be unknown if it is pertussis or a cold. A temp isn't going to tell you that. Did they test your mom before just giving her antibiotics? A test after the antibiotics will of course come back neg but some docs will still test and then say "look! It wasn't pertussis." :eyeroll: You can't tell in adults by the cough it is pertussis or not, only children do the whoop. Ok, I gotta starting working...

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#4 of 7 Old 01-15-2010, 04:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Peony View Post
Did they test your mom before just giving her antibiotics? A test after the antibiotics will of course come back neg but some docs will still test and then say "look! It wasn't pertussis." :eyeroll: Ok, I gotta starting working...
I was wondering this too (about her sister as well).

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#5 of 7 Old 01-15-2010, 04:31 PM
 
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Here's some info from Dr. Sears that may help depending on how many weeks your LO is (you said a month but wasn't sure how close to a month):

Quote:
  • If your infant is 6 weeks or younger, and has a fever of 101 or higher, this is considered a medical emergency. Your doctor should evaluate your infant right away, either during business hours, or in an emergency room after hours. Do not give any fever-reducing medications in this situation (you don't want to hide the fever until after a doctor has evaluated your baby). Be sure to confirm any fevers with a rectal thermometer (if available) before contacting your doctor.
  • Infants age 7 weeks to three months with a fever over 101 warrant an appointment with your doctor within the next several hours. You generally don’t need to page your doctor in the middle of the night in this situation if the office opens within the next few hours. Simply follow our recommendations on treating fever below and call your doctor in the morning. If it is the early evening you should probably page your doctor, since the office won’t be open until the following day. Be sure to confirm any fevers with a rectal thermometer (if available) before contacting your doctor.
http://askdrsears.com/html/8/t082100.asp

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#6 of 7 Old 01-15-2010, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by CookAMH View Post
I was wondering this too (about her sister as well).
I just spoke first hand to sister today- they were ruling out a pulmonary embolism, and she said, and I quote: "the only thing that makes you have a heart rate of 177 and cough so much you can't talk besides a pe is pertussis."

So, no, she didn't get a definitive dx. She has mild CP and reactive airway, so she very well could have something else wacky. Mom is a social worker in an assisted living facility, so they're goofy about being "proactive." She wasn't swabbed.

Sister says she thinks she's had it for at least 2 months, so the chances that she was contagious, if indeed it is pertussis, when around family are slim to none.

I've decided that I'm going to pretend I knew nothing about this whole business and assume that my baby is heading into a growth spurt and somehow got into some salad dressing. (No thrush or diaper rash, so who knows.)

Good to know about the rectal thermometer, though! My doctor friend swears by the temple thermometers, which I will put up on a high shelf and not mess with, bc lord knows first-time-mommas, don't need to be obsessing over temps.

Thanks!

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#7 of 7 Old 01-15-2010, 04:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ErinYay View Post
I just spoke first hand to sister today- they were ruling out a pulmonary embolism, and she said, and I quote: "the only thing that makes you have a heart rate of 177 and cough so much you can't talk besides a pe is pertussis."

So, no, she didn't get a definitive dx. She has mild CP and reactive airway, so she very well could have something else wacky. Mom is a social worker in an assisted living facility, so they're goofy about being "proactive." She wasn't swabbed.

Sister says she thinks she's had it for at least 2 months, so the chances that she was contagious, if indeed it is pertussis, when around family are slim to none.

I've decided that I'm going to pretend I knew nothing about this whole business and assume that my baby is heading into a growth spurt and somehow got into some salad dressing. (No thrush or diaper rash, so who knows.)

Good to know about the rectal thermometer, though! My doctor friend swears by the temple thermometers, which I will put up on a high shelf and not mess with, bc lord knows first-time-mommas, don't need to be obsessing over temps.

Thanks!
Glad you have a good plan I love her name btw, I saw your old birth announcement post.

Alicia, wife to an loving and faithful DH, and mama to three fantastic though nutty children (cs, then a fast HBAC, then a fast VBAC!!). Planning a third VBAC, again at home, in February 2016.
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