Please Help- My Baby has Whooping Cough! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 16 Old 08-29-2010, 12:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My little boy is 21 months old, still breastfeeding, completely unvaccinated (and FWIW, he is allergic to eggs). He developed a strange dry cough that would come out of the blue a couple weeks ago, no other symptoms, and only a couple times a day, he also had loss of appetite. Last week it progressed to occasional low fever and a wet mucousy cough where he seemed to choke on it. I took him to my doc, who knows his vaccine status, and he said he was fine- almost seemed to patronize me a bit about being over-reactive. But my ds had choked on phlegm the night before. His lungs were clear, but doc said it was likely a mild bronchial infection so he prescribed a ventolin inhaler for the coughing spells. During the day he is happy and playing normally, so I figured it couldn't be too bad, plus he slept peacefully at night, except for 2-3 fits. Friday night we ended up in ER, he had a coughing fit so bad I freaked and nearly called 911, he would just cough till he had no breath, but of course it completely stopped after we got him in the car and we spent 3 hours in the waiting room in the middle of the night. The nurse just told us since he was stable now our wait would be a very long time. Our ER SUCKS, no one was going in or out of the ER treatment rooms in over 2 hrs. There was an 80 yr old lady in a wheelchair coughing till she vomited on the floor and she was crying for help. No one came to attend her. We got nowhere with 2 nurses examining him in triage, we basically had to wait till he nearly choked to death again to get any help. :vent

I've had him on lots of natural supps for over a week- garlic on his feet at night, super silver (colloidal), immune srength compound, Anti-Viral, Vit D, Respir-Actin for kids, plus the puffer my doc gave to me last week. Nothing is helping. We're all off wheat and dairy for over a week, as they produce mucous. I've had the vaporizer running 24/7 (cool mist) for days in our room. Night and naps are just the worst.

Last night I was able to do some more research on pertussis and I was shocked, I didn't know that a child could appear completely normal in between spasms, and that they can often only have about 10 spasms a day. It all added up, he has a classic case of whooping cough! For 2 nights now he has the textbook whooping sound between coughs, with gagging at the end. My God I can't stand it, I can't handle the look in his eyes when he is turning red and purple and flailing for breath, then finally whooping loudly and bawling in terror. I thought WC could be easily treated with antibiotics, but in reading it seems AB are not effective as the host has usually left the body once the whooping is heard, neither are puffers or steroids. And there is basically nothing one can do but wait it out, which will likely last weeks of him having this every night!!!! I haven't slept much in a week, last night I didn't sleep at all, I was awake worrying all night, just laying there watching him and nearly having a panic attack w/ every noise or move he made, thinking he'd spasm again.

Top it off, my older kids are 6 and 8, unvax'd, and both have come down with typical cold symptoms, I myself have been fighting a cold for a few days and have what appears to be bronchitis (coughing up lots of phlegm), plus I already have bad asthma. How will I take care of us all if I am sick too? How can I care for 3 kids w/ WC even if I am well myself!? Not to mention, how will I survive emotionally? This is really traumatizing me. My dh is likely not immune to pertussis anymore, how can he support the family if he gets it!?

My niece is 13 months and she was here when he first started the dry cough, she kept taking his sippy cup. She is unvax'd and still mostly EBF, hasn't been around my ds in 9 days and has no symptoms. How long is the incubation period? When will we know if she's in the clear?

Is there any benefit to treating the rest of the fam w/ AB at this point? I have read this in a few places, it may stop the bacteria from developing if taken before coughing starts up. FYI, I am allergic to "mycin" drugs and my dd is allergic to penicillin.

Dh is out right now trying to find ascorbic acid, he'll probably come home with Esther C- is this the same stuff!?? I dont think the HFS is open today, and we should have been on it long before now, I am kicking myself.

Please help, any stories of hope out there from other mothers who's children have suffered from this and they were fine, how did you deal with the "paroxysms" when it seemed your child would never draw breath? How did you treat it? how long did it last? I am on the verge of full on panic at the thought of weeks more of this, weeks more of my poor baby feeling like he is dying whenever he coughs at night.

I am freaking out here! If I have to take him back to the hospital and tell them I am certain he has WC, what would they do?? Isolate him, call CPS? I am going to call my doctor in the morning, but I need to have my ducks in a row so I can make an informed decision in how to proceed. How can I go to the doctor and expose all his patients to WC? I suppose I'd have to tell the receptionist and see what the doctor says...? I'm afraid...

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#2 of 16 Old 08-29-2010, 01:01 PM
 
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I don't have all the answers but I wanted to say mama, *you can do this*.

I believe it's Sodium Ascorbate, take a look at this short but sweet thread:
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...whooping+cough

And from my experience, you may have to order it online... overnight it if you need to....
http://www.luckyvitamin.com/p-5326-n...ascorbate-8-oz

If you have a local natural health food store, they can probably send it to you... I did that locally once: ordered it at 4pm in the afternoon, it was on my doorstep by 10am the next morning! Didn't have to haul a sick me and child out to spread the yucky!

Not 100% sure on reporting you... but since the vaccine is not 100% (says so right on the package insert), it's not your fault (regardless of your child not having the vacc)... and boy wouldn't the families who had their kid immunized who then came down with wc, they'd be ticked off if they still got reported! So I don't think it'll happen. Even worse that the ER didn't recognize wc. Isn't that their job?

Hope others chime in... and good luck mama! Could you also post in your local thread and see if anyone has any while you wait for a shipment?
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#3 of 16 Old 08-29-2010, 01:17 PM
 
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My 3rd had WC at around that age. I kept bf, gave her SA and lots of good food. It lasted awhile but then went away. It's important to stay calm and realize it will pass in time. They will not call CPS. They may ask you to come in the back way or wear a mask to come to the office for testing. It will be ok!

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#4 of 16 Old 08-29-2010, 01:23 PM
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Yes, Sodium Ascorbate to bowel tolerance. After about two days (I believe), it should kick in. You should all start taking it ASAP.

Everything is going to be OK. As for you and dh, many adults get a milder form (no whooping or anything, just a nagging cough that never seems to go away). So even if you get it, you will likely be able to care for your kids. Just be aware that you are CONTAGIOUS, so please avoid as much contact with others as possible (you contagious for approximately 21 days after coughing begins).

Antibiotics will not help the cough; in fact, I've heard that it can prolong it. The only thing it may help with is transmission: you are supposed to be signigifanctly less contagious after five days of ABX.

WC is a reportable disease in the US, not sure about Canada. But you will NOT get in any trouble for having it--we are in a peak year, and LOTS of people have it, including MANY vax'ed kids.

The hospital can't really do anything for you at this point, unless you want the ABX. I would only go back in a real emergency; otherwise, you can treat it at home.

You will ALL be fine. Just please avoid contact with others (especially infants or anyone in contact with infants, etc) while you are contagious.

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#5 of 16 Old 08-29-2010, 05:19 PM
 
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My Ds had WC when he was 15 months old. It was a brutal few weeks until things settled down and then it was about another 3 months of occasional nighttime coughing until it finally cleared. He was fine during the day, but when sleeping would cough until he vomited. The best solution for us was for me to sleep in a glider/ rocking chair all propped up with pillows and him in my arms for those intense weeks. I would try and nap when ever I could to compensate for my lack of sleep in those weeks. Holding him up when he had a fit helped him cough without *really* waking up. I also found that having him against my chest with my calm breathing helped him regulate his. The more he was awake and panicky when he coughed the worse the gasping was. We did lots of vitamin C and soups etc during the day. It really just has to run its course. It was no fun and I dread any of my other kids ever having it, but we all survived without any medical interventions.

For what it's worth if you and your older kids get it, it will likely be much milder and more of an annoying cough then the full on trauma an infant/ toddler experiences. I'm certain I had it after DS and it was a yucky cough-till- I- gagged kind of thing, but not nearly as awful as what DS experienced.

I hope that helps.... I know it's hard! Ds is a very smart and active 5 year old now. No adverse effects!

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#6 of 16 Old 08-29-2010, 06:03 PM
 
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I'm so sorry.

I hope the mods put this in Health and Healing. You may get many more answers there. Your child is in our thoughts!

It's not that the stay-at-home-parent gets to stay home with the kids. The kids get to stay home with a parent. Lucky Mom to DD1 (4 y) and DD2 (18 mo), Wife to Mercenary Dad
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#7 of 16 Old 08-29-2010, 07:56 PM
 
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Since this is about dealing with an illness rather than a vaccine I'm moving to H&H. Please keep in mind:
Quote:
Discussion should focus on requests for information, personal experience and support rather than requests for a diagnosis, prognosis or personalized treatment plan that could be construed as medical advice.
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#8 of 16 Old 08-30-2010, 02:10 AM
 
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So sorry you're going through this!!! And yes, you can do it!

What helped me was essential oils in the humidifier (clove, lavender, eucalyptus), a chest rub of the same essential oils and when they would have a coughing fit I would either take them outside in the fresh air or open the fridge. My doctor actually told me about the outside/fridge thing and though I don't understand it it did help! I know you're using a cool mist humidifier and I've read that they're the new improved humidifiers but I find that the old warm mist ones help my little ones the most.

Also, when my children are sick we eat a lot of homemade organic soups with lots of veggies and made sure we got our full dose of Vitamin D each day.

Hope he's feeling better soon!

Wife to Krisztian and Mother to three little ones Rose (2006) Alina (2007) and Ben (2009). Expecting another miracle Dec 2010
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#9 of 16 Old 08-30-2010, 03:02 AM
 
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You might want to have a look at this thread:

http://www.mothering.com/discussions....php?t=1254079

and this one...

http://www.mothering.com/discussions....php?t=1250683

EVC nailed it exactly...

First of all, ((HUGS)) and take it one step at a time. Get the SA. I know Bronson's carries it. I'm not from the States, so I don't know if any chain stores carry it and where you could get it ASAP. But you do need to get some, and quickly, and no, Ester-C and other calcium ascorbates are NOT the same.

Once you've got him dosed to bowel tolerance for a few days, it should kick in and you'll notice a difference in the amount of coughing and the whooping/gagging/vomiting. My DS was 23 months old when we went through it. The first few nights were awful. He was coughing every few minutes (and whooping and vomiting). After the SA took effect, he was able to sleep through the night again (as I was--bonus). Seriously, once you've got the right dose and it's working, it's like hitting a switch on the coughing. Eventually my DS was down to just a half dozen paroxysmal fits in 24 hours, but no whooping or puking...compared to every few minutes all night.

A warm mist vaporizer at night also helps a bit. You want to keep the mucus moving and get it out to any prevent secondary infections.

About your niece...incubation is anywhere from 7-14 days...so I'd say after two weeks with no paroxysmal coughing, she should be in the clear.

Antibiotics are useless to affect the course of the illness after the coughing has begun...they'll only stop the spread to others. If you choose to forego the abx, you should quarantine your DS for 21 days after the coughing started.

I wouldn't worry about CPS. There's enough fully vaccinated kids getting pertussis too...no one can say that if he's been vaccinated then he would be 100% protected.

Good luck. My DS recovered just fine, no complications. It took about 4-5 weeks in total.

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#10 of 16 Old 08-31-2010, 09:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for all this help, I really appreciate it!

My SA is supposed to get here tomorrow, so much for overnight shipping.

Called the doc on monday- told them I was certain my ds had WC, and was told to come in for 6pm. We all dragged ourselves outta bed, showered up, dressed up and drove the 35 minutes out there, only to find one of the receptionists messed up because he had to leave early! Were told to come back first thing in the morning.

Today we called first, just to make sure. They pushed our appointment back to 3:15. Finally saw the doc this afternoon.

I told him all the symptoms, even showed a small video clip of him whooping. Explained how he sounded just like all the videos on the net of WC. He said several times our kids were not sick enough to have WC. Told him at night he was awful, whooping all night long, and perhaps the kids were just in the first stage with cold like symptoms- exactly as my ds had been just over a week ago. He said bacterial illnesses don`t usually spread that fast, and that the cough could be caused by a few illnesses. He is an old doc, been in practice a loooong time, said he hasn`t seen a case of pertussis in 20 years. He said my dh and I couldn`t have it because we were fully vax`d and I said I had read that vax immunity often wears off by adulthood and he basically said no.

He said he would send us for a pertussis titer blood test just to be sure, which the results take 4-5 days. Too late for my dh and kids to take anti-biotics prophylactically if it is Pertussis, as I feel it is.

So, he sent us all to the lab- 30 minutes back to our town for bloodwork. We get there and I hand over the papers- she looks at me in disgust and says `Pertussis!! What are you doing here? This is a highly contagious disease, you shouldn`t come in here!` in an UNfriendly voice! Told her my doctor told me to go there, she said they don`t do that test, you have to do the nasal-pharyngeal swap to test for WC- which my doctor has to do in office!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Are you kidding me!!!! We have gotten the run around like crazy, and now they want us to drive all the way back to the doctors office tomorrow (35 mins each way, and we`re SICK!!). What is WRONG with this town! Urgh!

So, the swab sounds like a lot of fun, specially for the toddler, but maybe it will cause a full on paroxysm and maybe then he`ll take it seriously.

So that`s all for now. I would love it if it wasn`t really WC, but what else could it be, and could it be something worse?

Jewels & Jon (Married 11+ yrs)- Homeschooling, No Circ, BF, CD Mama to:
Alex 8 Gabby 6 (Homeborn!) Gideon 2.... chickens, ducks, cats and a dog
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#11 of 16 Old 09-01-2010, 11:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MrsJewelsRae View Post
Thank you so much for all this help, I really appreciate it!

My SA is supposed to get here tomorrow, so much for overnight shipping.

Called the doc on monday- told them I was certain my ds had WC, and was told to come in for 6pm. We all dragged ourselves outta bed, showered up, dressed up and drove the 35 minutes out there, only to find one of the receptionists messed up because he had to leave early! Were told to come back first thing in the morning.

Today we called first, just to make sure. They pushed our appointment back to 3:15. Finally saw the doc this afternoon.

I told him all the symptoms, even showed a small video clip of him whooping. Explained how he sounded just like all the videos on the net of WC. He said several times our kids were not sick enough to have WC. Told him at night he was awful, whooping all night long, and perhaps the kids were just in the first stage with cold like symptoms- exactly as my ds had been just over a week ago. He said bacterial illnesses don`t usually spread that fast, and that the cough could be caused by a few illnesses. He is an old doc, been in practice a loooong time, said he hasn`t seen a case of pertussis in 20 years. He said my dh and I couldn`t have it because we were fully vax`d and I said I had read that vax immunity often wears off by adulthood and he basically said no.

He said he would send us for a pertussis titer blood test just to be sure, which the results take 4-5 days. Too late for my dh and kids to take anti-biotics prophylactically if it is Pertussis, as I feel it is.

So, he sent us all to the lab- 30 minutes back to our town for bloodwork. We get there and I hand over the papers- she looks at me in disgust and says `Pertussis!! What are you doing here? This is a highly contagious disease, you shouldn`t come in here!` in an UNfriendly voice! Told her my doctor told me to go there, she said they don`t do that test, you have to do the nasal-pharyngeal swap to test for WC- which my doctor has to do in office!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Are you kidding me!!!! We have gotten the run around like crazy, and now they want us to drive all the way back to the doctors office tomorrow (35 mins each way, and we`re SICK!!). What is WRONG with this town! Urgh!

So, the swab sounds like a lot of fun, specially for the toddler, but maybe it will cause a full on paroxysm and maybe then he`ll take it seriously.

So that`s all for now. I would love it if it wasn`t really WC, but what else could it be, and could it be something worse?
I'm really sorry you had to go through all that!! Honestly I wouldn't bother returning for any tests. Just treat the symptoms appropriatetly with SA and keep you kids home. Antibiotics won't do a thing for the sick ones and can make the course of the disease longer and rougher.

Your doctor's response about not seeing WC in 20 yrs made me LOL!! He just hasn't called anything he has seen a WC case probably because the kids/people have been vaxed. Apparently like all the other misguided medical professionals, he is under the impression that the vaccine prevents transmission.

Hope eveyone feels better soon

If the people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny." Thomas Jefferson.

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#12 of 16 Old 09-01-2010, 12:52 PM
 
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Wow, you poor soul. Is finding another dr an option? I do hope you find relief with the SA, let us know how it goes. I have also read that if going up in an airplane is an option, it helps! lol - not that we all are rich enough to choose that option but I forget the site, but apparently it works! (air pressure I'm guessing) and also - taking the child out to breathe the night air (cooler) OR in front of a frigerator if that isnt an option. It certainly helped my child croup like cough, no experience with pertussis here yet.

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#13 of 16 Old 09-01-2010, 03:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, very frustrating, my dh was so mad after taking so much time off work for these appointments- 5 so far counting the lab and ER he is just D.O.N.E. Told me to give the doc our address and if the swab is so important they can come here and get it. Not gonna happen. Anyhow I am just curious enough I will get the swab done if possible, but I requested they find somewhere local for me to get it done so I don't have to drive all the way out there again, especially considering they have dropped the ball on us a few times now.

Can't get a new doctor. We have doctor shortages here if you have one at all you count yourself lucky. Ours moved to the next town and we had to follow since we couldn't get anyone else. He's not so bad usually, he's very slow to medicate, doesn't worry overly about BF baby's weight and the charts, touts cloth dipes and BF, midwives, natural birth, anti-circ, etc. He is very pro vax but said he supported my right to make that decision for our children. I was really surprised to find him so...ignorant...in this area.

Had a rough night last night, was thinking he might need to be hospitalized with how often he was "whooping" and struggling to breathe. I kept wondering at what point do I call 911? But thankfully he settled down and slept the rest of the night, has been doing pretty well today.

Got my SA right at my doorstep this morning! Immediately gave the baby 1/2 tsp (2gms) and 2 hrs later he had diarrhea, so I guess I'll try to spread that out over the day and see how he does.

Still waiting for a call back to see if we can get the swab done in town. In the meantime I think I will give our Public Health a call and see if there are any reported cases of WC in our area, although I wonder if they are just being misdiagnosed.... I will try to get a video clip of my ds having a fit and post it here, see what you think. When my mom and sister heard him over the phone they both cried, said it was worst thing they've ever heard, like he was strangling.

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#14 of 16 Old 09-01-2010, 08:03 PM
 
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We're dealing with whooping cough here. My oldest is 9, youngest is 5, neither vaxed. 5yo got it from daycare and brought it home, luckily BF and I have been spared. We've been using some homeopathy and Calcium Ascorbate (not to bowel tolerance) and just got the SA today (thank goodness!). We've had some rough nights, but on the whole it hasn't been terrible. 5yo has the whoop (now, not at first) and 9yo just has a dry cough and has yet to whoop. Not all kids whoop which accounts for a lot of misdiagnosis, imho.

Sorry you're getting the run around. No sense in getting the nasal swab. I tortured both of mine with it and wish I hadn't. It was really painful and really didn't give us any more information than we already had. And it just puts you on the radar of the health department or CDC. Would it change the course of things for you to get the test? Would you treat differently? You know your child best - if you think he has the WC, he probably does, you don't need a test to confirm.

I would NOT call the public health department. My experience here with the state CDC has been, well, traumatizing to say the least. They contacted us because there was a case at 5yos daycare. They were adamant that we all take the prophylactic abx even though BF and I were vaxed and they ADMITTED the abx do nothing to prevent you from getting it (and admitted that, well, the vax doesn't always work). They did eventually report me to CPS for not vaxing and not giving the abx (which was a lie, we did treat with abx so both kids could go to school and not be contagious - supposedly) with information they got from my ped. I live in a state with philosophical exemptions and am well within my right not to vax. Luckily, I am a CPS caseworker so I was able to sit down with my superiors and set things straight. But it has been very traumatizing and if my kids EVER get a 'vaccine preventable' illness again, the LAST people I would be calling will be the CDC or my ped. I've had to take over a week off from work to recoup emotionally and I'm not sure if I can go back just because of all of the feelings this has brought up for me.

I had a little chuckle while I was sitting at the school this morning for my 5yo's K screening. The speech therapist asked if she'd been healthy this summer (she has chronic ear infections that are not remedied by diet thus far so has some speech delays as a result) and I mentioned she and 9yo were recovering from WC and she said "oh, I was just talking with another parent about this awful chest cold that has been going around". I just snorted (inside) and said that there is a lot of whooping cough going around locally. I bet a million dollars most of those kids have pertussis but no one is suspecting it because they are mostly vaxed.

Best of luck momma - you will all make it through this. It sounds (literally) worse than it is. Keep up with the SA and you should see some relief soon. No harm in starting the SA for you and the rest of the family to keep the bugs at bay.

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#15 of 16 Old 09-01-2010, 08:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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danipoppins- that is horrible! Actually, too late, I already called the PH Dept. but I didn't give my name so we're good. I asked if we could come in for a nasal swab and she said they didn't do them there!! So the doc's office screws up again. Honestly, this is almost comical. Though it sounds like maybe it was a good thing, considering what happened to you! Now I don't know what to do. Perhaps I should just treat it as WC. I did ask the lady at PH if there were any reported cases of WC in the county recently and she said not one. Which is a little reassuring, that maybe it's not WC, but also a little suspicious... Perhaps it is just being misdiagnosed, who knows. Dh heard a little girl in the grocery store the other day that had a cough exactly like ds'. Hmmmm. At least they can't go after us for not seaking treatment for them! We've been chasing down medical care for him desperately and getting nowhere!

His fever is back again tonight.

Is the swab really that bad?

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#16 of 16 Old 09-01-2010, 09:25 PM
 
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Is the swab really that bad?
Yes, it was that bad. My 5yo screamed and freaked out (we had to hold her down ) and my 9yo got teary eyed when they were doing it, but kept himself together.

I would just treat it as the WC, stay home for a couple weeks and load everyone up on SA. We actually went out occasionally, just put the mask on whichever one was symptomatic at the time (which they didn't like either, but they liked being trapped at home less).

I don't think they typically test for WC unless there is a confirmed case, then they want to test everyone. I think there is A LOT of pertussis around all the time, it just goes under the radar because not everyone presents with the whoop and vaxed kids and babies also present with a slightly different symptom picture. If they tested everyone with a 'bad cough', I bet they would find a surprising number of pertussis cases around. Just mho.

Hope everyone in your house is feeling better soon!

momma to DS9 ribbonjigsaw.gif, DD5 dust.gif, and the newest edition, DS born Jan 2011 hbac.gif
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