Signs of Whooping Cough? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 24 Old 10-03-2006, 02:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I looked in the archives but couldn't find info on what the actual signs of whooping cough are. Are there other accompanying signs other than the cough? How bad does the cough get and for what duration?
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#2 of 24 Old 10-03-2006, 02:16 AM
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This audio file could be very helpful if you have never heard what it sounds like. It is a recording of a child's whooping cough bout with a classic whoop (a very small child by the sound of it). It's an MP3 file.

http://privivka.ru/data/music/pertussis.mp3
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#3 of 24 Old 10-03-2006, 02:21 AM
 
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The cough is usually the *only* symptom, unless you're dealing with a tiny baby. Basically, the kid gets a very mild cold for a couple days, which goes away and is then followed by the cough. The cough generally only happens 10 to 15 times a day, with each episode lasting for longer than a normal cough does. They cough, cough, cough, cough, cough, cough, cough, then make this bizarre, high-pitched sound when they inhale, which is sometimes accompanied by vomiting or coughing up a copious amount (and I mean a LOT) of mucous. Then it's over and they seem perfectly normal until the next go round. In between the episodes, they are not sick. They don't have a fever, they don't feel bad, they don't ache - they're just normal. And their lungs are clear unless they get a secondary infection, so doctors generally tell parents something stupid like, "I guess it's nothing, because her lungs are clear," which is what they told me when DD had it. Since the coughing episodes are infrequent, the doctor won't usually even hear one. This tends to last for a few weeks, then slowly gets better.

Obviously, there are severe cases that are much worse than that, but that description is the way pertussis typically goes.
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#4 of 24 Old 10-03-2006, 02:25 AM
 
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OMG, i listened to that recording, it would scare me to death if my dd would get a cough like that, how could you possibly deal with that, I'm usually a bit panicy anyhow so i'd imagine others could handle it more calmly
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#5 of 24 Old 10-03-2006, 02:32 AM
 
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That scared me so bad too ICU... my DS is 3 months old and has seemed to have a mild cold lately.

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#6 of 24 Old 10-03-2006, 02:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Spy View Post
This audio file could be very helpful if you have never heard what it sounds like. It is a recording of a child's whooping cough bout with a classic whoop (a very small child by the sound of it). It's an MP3 file.

http://privivka.ru/data/music/pertussis.mp3

Thanks for the link. You could really hear the "whoop" in the cough.... both of my kids have had a lingering cough but nothing of that magnitude. phew
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#7 of 24 Old 10-03-2006, 03:32 AM
 
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I did get a little panicky the first couple weeks when DD would just cough and cough, but then right at the very moment I would really start to get scared, she'd spit up breastmilk and about 2 cups of mucous (naaaaasty) and it would all be over. So, after the first couple of weeks, I knew she was going to be fine and I'd just sit her up and place a large prefold in front of her to catch all that mucous. It only happened about 10 or 12 times a day - that's only once every couple of hours - and it only lasted about 30 to 45 seconds from start to finish. In between she was totally normal, so most of the day we didn't even think about it. She was about 5.5 months old when it all started and about 7 when it finally ended. But really, it wasn't bad at all. If you experienced what I did, you wouldn't freak out. (And believe me, I'm the consummate neurotic worrier, so if I say something wasn't scary, it wasn't scary. )

Editing for more clarity...

To be exact, the coughing started about 10 to 14 days before her 6 month birthday. It was only happening with any frequency for about 2 or 3 weeks. It tapered off so that by the last few weeks, it was only happening a couple times a day. I know the exact date it started because I took her to the doctor 6 days after the cough started (I just don't have the records in front of me, LOL) but I don't honestly know exactly when it stopped because it just slowly tapered off. I just know that the whole thing lasted about 7 weeks.
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#8 of 24 Old 10-03-2006, 03:42 AM
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OMG, i listened to that recording, it would scare me to death if my dd would get a cough like that, how could you possibly deal with that, I'm usually a bit panicy anyhow so i'd imagine others could handle it more calmly
Well ... The link is from one of the leading Russian vaccine-pushing websites sponsored by Sanofi-Pasteur (aka Sanofi-Aventis, Aventis-Pasteur, etc.) Obviously, it is there because it's good, it gives parents enough creeps to run and buy their wonders of pharmaceutical industry. I, however, use it whenever a parent is asking what does it sound like - it sounds like this in its most traditional form (quite severe, actually). It does NOT mean, however, that any pertussis should necessarily sound like this. I have heard of cases of whooping cough without whoop, and I have heard of cases of whooping cough even without cough!!! Yet lab proven pertussis. In mostly unvaccinated kids. So, technically, any cough could be pertussis, and especially any long cough could be it. But when you hear something like this - it is obviously it, hard to confuse with something else.
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#9 of 24 Old 10-03-2006, 03:48 AM
 
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Thanks Plummeting, your description really helps.

I was wondering the same thing last night when dd started coughing in her sleep. She's had a mild cold, sneezed for a day with a runny nose and then just had a rare cough, but last night she had a few bouts of a dry cough in the middle of the night and I found myself wondering if this might be the beginning of what whooping cough is like... No more coughing today though, so I think my mind is just overactive from reading the recent threads about pertussis.

OTOH, I'm due in 2 months time and I really wouldn't be too too upset if dd did have pertussis now because it would boost my immunity to it and give the baby nice strong antibodies at birth. Not that I want dd to have it or anything, but the timing right now wouldn't be bad since it would probably offer the baby strong protection during his most vulnerable period & the worst would be over by the time he was born. : But I'm still scared of how we'll cope in the eventuality that dd will get it at some point in time... And I figure it's not a matter of if, but a matter of when...
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#10 of 24 Old 10-03-2006, 04:26 AM
 
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*Spy*-I totally appreciate the recording of the cough and i'm so glad i listened to it cuz i would want to know how to recognize it if i heard it. I just hope to never hear it again especially in person. I've been very fortunate that dd hasn't been sick much in her 2 yrs but when has gotten sick i panic and start having second thoughts about not vaxing her, but that's only when i REALLY panic, but my dh has to calm me down and remind me how good it is for her not to be vaxed(even though he knows nothing about it except what i've told him from research) He's the mellow one in the family but anyhoo i'm greatful for the info cuz i am new to all this stuff, including not vaxing but i'm confident(most of the time) that i'm doing the right thing
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#11 of 24 Old 10-03-2006, 05:16 AM
 
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Originally Posted by snowbird25ca View Post
But I'm still scared of how we'll cope in the eventuality that dd will get it at some point in time... And I figure it's not a matter of if, but a matter of when...
why do you think your dd will get it?

6/9/2005 6/30/2007 10/17/2009 (Ebstein's Anomaly)
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#12 of 24 Old 10-03-2006, 11:58 AM
 
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why do you think your dd will get it?
Simply because pertussis is still around a lot so I know she'll be exposed at some point in time. As to whether or not she gets sick with it will remain to be seen.
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#13 of 24 Old 10-03-2006, 12:05 PM
 
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That recording is pretty accurate.

It *was* scary!

It was scary as all hell! But, once I saw a child with it, saw that my boys were exhibiting *exactly* what they should, started Vit C regimen, and watched the mucous lessen with that, I felt less scared. Still, though, I can remember getting panicky about 30 seconds into the cough where I would look at my husband and say, "Okay, he's got 3 seconds for this to stop or we're off to the ER." Everytime, it stopped.

As scary as it was, though, it was NOTHING compared to my son's vax reaction. Talk about scary! Try holding your baby while he has a seizure from a fever that was almost 106. Horrible.

I'll take pertussis, with information, over that any day.
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#14 of 24 Old 10-03-2006, 12:47 PM
 
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Still, though, I can remember getting panicky about 30 seconds into the cough where I would look at my husband and say, "Okay, he's got 3 seconds for this to stop or we're off to the ER." Everytime, it stopped.

That's exactly how it was for us - the second I'd get scared enough to think that maybe this time really was going go be the time where she didn't get enough oxygen, she'd spit up and stop coughing.

I forgot to say before that my DD's cough didn't sound just like that. She would only whoop once with each coughing spell - at the very end. She would cough the entire time, then whoop, then spit up. (Or maybe spit up and then whoop - I can't remember the order on that part.) But during the middle of the paroxysmal coughing, she didn't whoop at all, only at the end. And it was a big, long, loud whoop.
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#15 of 24 Old 10-03-2006, 02:30 PM
 
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To those of you that have been through it, did any of you take your dc to ER or dr and if so what do they do there? Just curious if they'd treat it like a cold and just tell ya to ride it out or if there is some treatment for it.:
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#16 of 24 Old 10-03-2006, 03:03 PM
 
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Does anyone know the accuracy of the nose swab they use to test for whopping cough? DS was so sick several months ago with the exact cough on the audiofile (Actually, when I searched on line when he was sick for info I found that file and played it for DH and he couldn’t tell the difference between the computer or our son....) He would cough, cough, cough until he vomited up gobs and gobs of mucous. Then be totally fine. Running around playing- no fever fine. It was the strangest thing.

I started him on the vitamin C regimen, which helped immensely. As did the homeopathic remedy Drosera. The whole thing lasted about 3 weeks. He still has a lingering cough at night (months later), but is mostly fine.

My point is, we took him to the Dr. who did a swab for pertussis and it came back negative. So, according to her he has not had it. I, on the other hand, am convinced it was pertussis. Anyone know anything about the lab tests?

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We did the nose swab on both boys. It was very invasive. And, one tested positive, the other negative. The dr. treated it like it was pertussis, which was to recommend the abx to prevent the long contagion period, and then tell us to do our best.
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#18 of 24 Old 10-03-2006, 03:16 PM
 
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So then, would it have been for the best that the swab came back negative? I suppose we avoided the conflict with public health and the recommended antibiotics if it was indeed pertussis. The Dr. suggested it may have been croup. Anyone been through both? Are they easily confused?

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I can't imagine croup sounding like pertussis. But, that's JMO. I've heard kids with a rattly, deep chest cough described as croup, but it sounded nothing like pertussis.

Did your son have the mucous when he coughed? Did he vomit?
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#20 of 24 Old 10-03-2006, 03:24 PM
 
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He would cough, cough, cough until he vomited up gobs and gobs of mucous. Then be totally fine. Running around playing- no fever fine. It was the strangest thing.

I started him on the vitamin C regimen, which helped immensely. As did the homeopathic remedy Drosera. The whole thing lasted about 3 weeks. He still has a lingering cough at night (months later), but is mostly fine.

My point is, we took him to the Dr. who did a swab for pertussis and it came back negative. So, according to her he has not had it. I, on the other hand, am convinced it was pertussis. Anyone know anything about the lab tests?
Yup, lots of vomit and loads of goopy mucus. Worse at night, but often during the day as well. I thought croup and pertussis were very different too. Perhaps she felt she had to offer some sort of diagnosis since the lab tests came back negative?

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#21 of 24 Old 10-03-2006, 03:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Spy View Post
Well ... The link is from one of the leading Russian vaccine-pushing websites sponsored by Sanofi-Pasteur (aka Sanofi-Aventis, Aventis-Pasteur, etc.) Obviously, it is there because it's good, it gives parents enough creeps to run and buy their wonders of pharmaceutical industry. I, however, use it whenever a parent is asking what does it sound like - it sounds like this in its most traditional form (quite severe, actually). It does NOT mean, however, that any pertussis should necessarily sound like this. I have heard of cases of whooping cough without whoop, and I have heard of cases of whooping cough even without cough!!! Yet lab proven pertussis. In mostly unvaccinated kids. So, technically, any cough could be pertussis, and especially any long cough could be it. But when you hear something like this - it is obviously it, hard to confuse with something else.
Hmmm. Now I'm really wondering. I've had a terrible hacking "honking" cough for quite some time-six weeks? and feel fine. Til I start coughing. Then I sound like I'm dying. But I never have anything in my chest. Dx'd as "allergies". Yeah. Hayfever in September? Not likely.....

Oh well. Hasnt killed me yet. If it is, I'll have good immunity to pass along to kidlet if and when he ever decides to show up.

I'm probably being hypochondriacal. Or not. Either way, I'll live, right?
I was wondering about and talked myself out of it til Spy came along.....
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#22 of 24 Old 10-03-2006, 06:56 PM
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Hmmm. Now I'm really wondering. I've had a terrible hacking "honking" cough for quite some time-six weeks? and feel fine. Til I start coughing. Then I sound like I'm dying. But I never have anything in my chest. Dx'd as "allergies". Yeah. Hayfever in September? Not likely.....

Oh well. Hasnt killed me yet. If it is, I'll have good immunity to pass along to kidlet if and when he ever decides to show up.

I'm probably being hypochondriacal. Or not. Either way, I'll live, right?
I was wondering about and talked myself out of it til Spy came along.....
Hehe... That's what happened to me at one point. Back then not only I didn't think to research what it was, but whoever 'treated' me didn't mention it either! They threw antibiotics at me in horse-killing doses and THAT nearly did me in, until I just stopped. And then I was lucky to find a doctor with brains, who asked if I had cough bouts similar to the recording. I reproduced the 'whoop' for her, and she was pretty certain. The only thing that has 'nothing in the chest', doesn't leave scars on lungs, yet could give months of such a cough, with more or less normal condition in between bouts, could be pertussis. Vaccinated in childhood? She just laughed
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#23 of 24 Old 10-03-2006, 08:31 PM
 
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Does anyone know the accuracy of the nose swab they use to test for whopping cough? DS was so sick several months ago with the exact cough on the audiofile (Actually, when I searched on line when he was sick for info I found that file and played it for DH and he couldn’t tell the difference between the computer or our son....) He would cough, cough, cough until he vomited up gobs and gobs of mucous. Then be totally fine. Running around playing- no fever fine. It was the strangest thing.

Croup doesn't sound anything like pertussis. Croup is dry and barking, pertussis is wet and whooping. Totally different. It's pretty common for docs to call pertussis croup, though. That's what one of our peds did when I told her DD had pertussis and the other doc didn't diagnose. They don't want to believe that pertussis is that mild, but it just is.

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To those of you that have been through it, did any of you take your dc to ER or dr and if so what do they do there? Just curious if they'd treat it like a cold and just tell ya to ride it out or if there is some treatment for it.
DD was never sick enough to even consider going to the ER. I did take her to the doc because it was almost time for her 6 month WBV anyway. The doc said (paraphrasing because it was a long time ago and I don't remember exact wording, but it was basically this), "Hmmm. That's strange. Her lungs sound clear, so it can't be anything. If it was anything serious, her lungs wouldn't be clear." Seriously, doctors are not to be relied upon to diagnose WC, because they think it's deadly, so if a child isn't damn near dead, they don't think that's what it is.
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#24 of 24 Old 10-03-2006, 08:44 PM
 
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Wow! A lot of your kids have gotten Pertussis!
Just a comment. I wonder if dd will get it too?
Yes, that recording scared the begeesus out of me. Poor little child!!
I know it's better than the vax though!

mama to dd (4-15-06) and
ds (2-23-09)
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