Course of whooping cough

Course in the child

Whooping cough has three stages in children. These include the catarrhal stage, which lasts about one to two weeks. A cold develops, which usually does not yet indicate the whooping cough symptoms. In some cases there may be accompanying conjunctivitis.

The second stage, the convulsive stage, takes about two to six weeks. This is where attack-like coughing fits occur. Most often the tongue is shown while coughing. The increased pressure from coughing can cause bleeding into the eye. These arise from the bursting of the smallest vessels in the conjunctiva. After the coughing attack, it may be difficult to inhale and vomiting.

The Decrementi stage lasts over a week. This stage describes the subsidence of the disease and is therefore variable over time. The cough can last for up to ten weeks. Duration of the illness The infection with whooping cough usually heals without consequences. Since this disease is a serious disease, a dead vaccine against whooping cough is available. According to the STIKO (permanent vaccination committee of the Robert Koch Institute) vaccination calendar, basic immunization starts after the child is two months old. Further vaccinations are necessary during the course.

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Course in the infant

In infants, the disease is similar to that in children. The difference is, on the one hand, that in infants the stages of the disease are usually difficult to distinguish. On the other hand, there is a risk of respiratory arrest with subsequent oxygen deficiency in the infant. Therefore, an infant with whooping cough should always be monitored in the hospital. In this way, respiratory arrest can be noticed quickly so that it does not lead to consequential damage or even death of the infant.

Read more on the topic: Symptoms of whooping cough

Course in the adult

Adults can also get whooping cough.

The disease is usually milder in adults than in children. The division into stages is usually not that easy to recognize. The disease often presents with mild cold symptoms to severe flu symptoms. Infected adults can unknowingly transmit the infection to children who do not yet have adequate immune protection.

Duration of whooping cough

The acute symptoms of whooping cough last between six to nine weeks. The individual stages can be shorter or longer. The cough can persist as a dry cough for up to ten weeks after the disease has subsided.

Mild and severe course of whooping cough

The mild course of whooping cough is often seen in adults or older children. The stages are all mild, the disease is characterized by cold or flu symptoms. Consequential damage is not to be expected, antibiotics are usually not necessary.

A normal course is often observed in young children. These are the coughing attacks typical of whooping cough. However, these are usually not dangerous and will subside within ten weeks.

A severe course is observed most often in infants. The division into stages of the disease is often difficult to hear, which means that the disease remains undetected. Infants in particular are at risk of the complication of respiratory arrest, which is why they should be admitted to a children's clinic if they suspect whooping cough.

Course of whooping cough with antibiotics

Taking an antibiotic can shorten and alleviate the course of the disease. However, the healing usually takes place without the administration of an antibiotic.