Whooping cough - initial symptoms? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 08-11-2010, 12:48 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm wondering if someone can give me info about the initial symptoms of whooping cough? I have a 5 mth old baby, no vax except HIB at 4 mths. Yesterday he started having a mild cough, usually when he was somewhat active (after sitting for a long time). I didn't think anything of it but tonight DH mentioned it to me and right now DS is awake (should be sleeping) and we've noticed he's coughing quite a bit more. It seems to be when he's laying on his back & wiggling around or active (he's playing on the bed right now). He's perfectly happy & active otherwise and the cough doesn't seem to bother him. I barely noticed it during the day. No runny nose either and no temp. I've read the basic websites "starts with mild cough, runny nose, low-grade fever" but I'm wondering if someone has actually seen it and can give me more info? Does this sound like whooping cough? I know how important it is to start treatment early so that's why I want to make sure I catch it right away if that's what it is.

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#2 of 6 Old 08-11-2010, 03:11 PM
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I'm pretty sure my husband and I got whooping cough not long after we got married. We felt pretty sick for the first few days, before we even started coughing - like we were coming down with the flu, all achy and with a general feeling of malaise. You never can tell how a baby will react, of course, but we were feeling pretty droopy and tired. Now, if you wanted to be sure not to miss a window, you could look into sodium ascorbate (vitamin C in a good form), I'm pretty sure someone's posted guidelines for infants somewhere.
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#3 of 6 Old 08-11-2010, 09:13 PM
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Moving to H&H.
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#4 of 6 Old 08-12-2010, 12:12 AM
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It is my understanding that whooping cough begins with a cold--maybe even a mild cold--that lasts about 14 days before the really bad cough begins. Then the cough comes in episodes, where in between the person is ok. The cough can be so bad that the person may throw up and has a characteristic whoop sound where the person is trying to get air.
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#5 of 6 Old 08-12-2010, 01:35 AM
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Not too sure about whooping cough, but...
Your babe's sympotms seem similar to croup (increased coughing when lying/active). Does the coughing sound like a barking seal? If that's what it is, it can be very mild. Just keep an eye on it. ER drs asses croup using this scale. In our dd's case, it did not begin at nighttime but during the day, though that is atypical.

Kaya (29) + Laume (31) = ds Kanoa (8) and dd Zia (2)

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#6 of 6 Old 08-12-2010, 11:20 AM
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We're having a very similar cough here. My 3 year old is the one with the cough though and at least so far no one else has it. She hasn't had any other cold symptoms but the cough has gotten progressively worse. My husband is convinced its Whooping cough. There isn't a whoop at the end though. Just 5 or 6 heavy, wet sounding coughs, in a row. It's been going on over a week now. Also we live in Marin County which seems to be a hotbed of pertussis here in CA. I frankly don't know what to do. She doesn't seem to be sick enough to warrant staying home or going to the doctor and everywhere I read says whooping cough usually starts with cold-like symptoms. On the other hand I don't want to spread whooping cough around, if that's what she has. It's made worse by the fact that we're down in socal visiting family, so I can't just take her to our doctor. And we're seeing like tons of friends and family everyday, but if we decided to just keep her away from people we'd have to just pack up and go home, it would really end the trip for us (which of course I would do if I knew she had WC, but since I can't tell, I don't know what to do).

Does anyone know if whooping cough can present without ever having any cold-like symptoms?

Jennifer, mama to darling dancing Juliette, and sweet baby Jameson
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