Maybe Pertussis...Having a freak out. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 06-27-2012, 12:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi everyone,


I am currently on vacation visiting family and friends all along the east coast with 2 children.  My 7 year old daughter developed a cough that sounded just like croup about a week ago when we got here.  It continued to sound croupy and only appeared at night for the next couple of days.  Her appetite was not up to normal and we were at a lake house and road tripping and she ate more junk food than normal.  Now she has what really sounds like whooping cough and I'm just wishing it really isn't and feeling a kind of dread that it probably is.  Coughing spells at random, with a long whoop after trying to catch breath.  Sounds extremely wet in there and like she is swallowing fluid after coughing spell.  Then nothing for hours.  She is not vaxed, nor is my son.  They were finally vaxed for MMR last year (at 4 and 6) because I got scared during several measles outbreaks. 


It is the middle of the night and I am away and obviously my son is exposed and we have to still deal with airplane travel and getting around to do the things we need to do...can't quarantine her, which makes me feel guilty and confused.


Traveling with my serious boyfriend (not their father) and about to go back to his sister's...she is a virologist and VERY pro-vaccine.  Scared of some heat, and also from my ex's family.  Also scared because although I have a seriously involved partner who does more for the kids at the moment than their father, I am essentially a single mom and it is summer and I have to work and I am supposed to move next week and I want to be able to care for my kids (because my son will probably get it too, right?)...don't know how I can get through this.  OH...and I am a postpartum doula so my work involves infants, which also complicates the situation.


Sorry for the rambling.  It is the middle of the night and I have always feared this one and I have a lot on my mind.  I know when you don't vax, chances are that you'll encounter ONE of the illnesses at some point...but I don't know if I'm ready!  I have read about the vit C and cod oil and wet shirts and homeopathy.  I am on the road and uncertain.  I have read pros and cons about antibiotics.  I just need us to get through this as quickly and painlessly as possible and I am so worried.  I do feel like at 5 and 7 they can handle it and I'm not filled with the same fear I would have if we were dealing with infants...but there you have it.  Help!

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#2 of 5 Old 06-27-2012, 04:28 AM
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Remember, even if she had been vaccinated, she still could have caught wc. Did she have any of the other symptoms associated with the early phase of pertussis? You mentioned that her cough sounds wet, and whopping cough is generally associated with a dry, barking cough. You might want to consider reactive airway or bronchitis... A cold/virus can sensitize the airway and lead to a nasty, nasty cough.

If you think it's pertussis and you're concerned about transmission, you should really, really consider the antibiotics as this would be the most infectious stage.

I'll move this to Health & Healing since you seem to be looking for health advice and not vax advice. smile.gif

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#3 of 5 Old 06-27-2012, 05:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your reply.  Yes, I do understand that she may have been infected even with the vaccine.  I am just gathering my strength of resolve for those who DON'T understand that.  Even as many unvaxed children (more so, in fact with WC) get these diseases too, the common  theory is that an unvaxed child "let it in."  I know that's not true, but I'm away from home visiting others and it's making it very hard to deal with. 


She did not start with a fever (as far as I know...and of course, I usually know) or runny nose or cold symptoms or even any bad feelings, as far as I know.  The morning it started, it sounded like croup.  My children, for whatever reason, often start resp. illnesses with a croup cough that then makes it's way into something more like a cold or flu.  The croupy sound lasted for a couple of days.  Now, the cough itself does sound rather dry at the onset.  After the spell and the sometimes whoop (she is not whooping this morning but was clearly doing so last night) I can hear a sloshing around of liquids and I can hear her swallowing it down.  The whoop is her catching her breath, as it is classically with pertussis, but I know given the sudden onset, it may not be WC.  The other matching symptom is that she is fine and happy most of the day...between fits.  She lost her appetite for a few days, it is back now and she is craving healthy foods...veggies, fruits, chicken soup.  Could be the case with any illness, though.  She had a bloody nose on about day 4, but she is prone to them. 


I am really just nervous because we are away from home with a move looming the second we get back.  I know she will be fine and that this is a fine age for both kids to get it if it's their time, but I want to be able to properly care for them and not infect others.

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#4 of 5 Old 06-27-2012, 12:55 PM
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You may wish to read about Ascorbic Acid  for the treatment of whooping cough. Seek medical advice if needed. This one study, but there are many.


Canadian study:


We finally adopted the following routine of daily


dosage: 350, 250, 250, 200, 200, 150, 150, 125,

125, 100, continuing at the 100 mg. level until

the case was complete, or stopping the dosage

at any stage at which there was a complete remission

of symptoms for two days. The average

total dose was about 2,700 mg. We disregarded

both age and weight of the patient, preferring

to simplify the method by making

routine tables of dosage. As even excessive

doses of the vitamin do not produce undesirable

effects, owing to rapid excretion of excess,

and since the cost of the medication is very

reasonable this method seemed best adapted for

use by the general practitioner.

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#5 of 5 Old 06-27-2012, 07:29 PM
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Please have her tested for pertussis as soon as you can. This should involve a nasopharyngeal swab. Don't settle for a diagnosis "based on symptoms;" this is an area in which misdiagnosis is rampant. If she has pertussis, her close contacts can start on antibiotic therapy that can actually prevent them from having symptoms, or reduce their severity. If she doesn't have pertussis, it could be asthma, which requires treatment as it can be fatal, or it could be one of many other things that should be treated.


Some people also use vitamin C or specifically sodium ascorbate for pertussis and other respiratory ailments. I don't think the effectiveness has been verified well, but as an adjunct to other therapies, it won't hurt either, as long as it's kept below the level of bowel intolerance (where the dose is so high it starts to cause diarrhea and related unpleasant gastrointestinal distress, which can cause dehydration and general misery.)

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