Pertussis Concerns - 2 month old in the house - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 02-08-2011, 09:52 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm worried that my 2 year old son may have pertussis.  He IS vaccinated.  I'm currently waiting for a nurse to call me back, but I'm a bit wary of any advice she may give.  My main concern is that if it is pertussis, I have a two month old baby girl who could catch it.  I've been reading and am going to order some good quality SA, I read about holding little one's bellies to help them cough, but I haven't seen any anecdotal stories of really young babies having pertussis (aside from one nightmare clip from some terrible TV show where a 1 month old died from catching it from his mother - shouldn't have watched that).  Are there different symptoms I should watch for in the little one? 


The reason I'm concerned about my 2 year old is because his cough just doesn't sound like a normal cough to me.  It's not really productive, but still kind of raspy sounding.  He's only  made a "whoop" sound a few times, but that could just be the result of a particularly bad "normal" coughing spell couldn't it?  My oldest son had croup once around this age, but I honestly don't think this is what it sounded like.  Aside from that, his sypmtoms have been a fever that started on Saturday afternoon along with a little nasal congestion and general cold symptoms (he literally went down for his nap seeming fine aside from the fact that he fell asleep really quickly, and woke up sick).  The last time he felt feverish was early Monday morning.  The cough started on Sunday and he still has a runny nose.  He's in good spirits and almost as active as normal. The cough doesn't seem to slow him down.  It seems like a bad cold, other than the fact that the cough just doesn't sound like any cough my children have ever had before.  In all fairness I don't have a ton of experience because my kids rarely get sick!  I honestly probably wouldn't be too worried about this at all if we didn't have the wee one.  When she was born the nurses and doctors at the hospital made a big deal about me getting a pertussis booster (which I didn't get) because of recent pertussis outbreaks in the area.  I think they just left me feeling frightened. 

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#2 of 3 Old 02-08-2011, 04:39 PM
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Honestly, the symptoms you describe sound like a bad cold or a flu to me. I wouldn't immediately be thinking pertussis-- but I think I'd be getting him checked out, just in case. I just went on the Pediatric Advisor. It mentioned coughing that turned a child blue or made them vomit-- not just about the sound of it. It also talked about how if one child in a household has pertussis, they recommend either giving antibiotics to everyone else in the house who's been exposed.

I don't know too much about this-- but you sounded so worried, and I wanted to respond. When we call our ped's office, the triage nurse uses the Pediatric Advisor as her reference for handing out advice and/or recommending bringing the child in. So usually I save myself the trouble of calling, and get on it myself, to see what it says.

A thought-- when you say whoop-- does it sound like a seal barking? Croup is a lot more likely than pertussis.

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#3 of 3 Old 02-09-2011, 10:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for replying.  It helps to have a calm response when I'm so worried!  I will check out Pediatric Advisor.  He is a little worse today so I am taking him to the pediatrician this afternoon.  However, I'm less worried about this being pertussis today.  I'm thinking it's just a really bad cold/cough.  I don't think it's croup.  His cough doesn't sound like a seal barking and it doesn't get worse at night - it's definitely worse during the day.  Although his cough is bad and he's come close to vomiting a few times, it's staying just this side of "normal."  The whoop sound is just him gasping for breath after/during a particularly bad coughing spell.  But his coughing spells aren't long enough to make him blue in the face.  We'll see what the doctor says. 

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