Importance of pertussis booster

Whooping cough is a disease, basically a respiratory disease that is caused by the bacteria called Bordetella pertussis bacteria.

One of the best ways by which an individual can prevent whooping cough or pertussis is by getting a vaccine. There are vaccines for pertussis available for babies, teenagers, and adults. DTaP is the vaccine used for children. On the other hand, the Tdap is used for adults and preteens and teenagers. However, always make sure that you do have a check-up and discussion with a professional before you get the pertussis vaccine.

Who gets them and when?

The pertussis booster vaccine is recommended for children, babies, and teenagers and also for women who are pregnant. DTaP is recommended for children who are under seven years of age. Tdap is recommended for children who are over the age of seven and for adults as well.

Before getting the whooping cough vaccination for your child, ensure that you have a word with your healthcare provider.

Signs and symptoms of whooping cough

Pertussis is known to be a bacterial infection. This happens when the bacteria enters your throat through the nose. This is a disease that can easily spread. But with the use of DTaP and Tdap vaccines, it can be prevented in both children and adults.

What happens?

If a person who is suffering from whooping cough sneezes or coughs, a small droplet of water that is infected by bacteria spreads all through the air. Hence, if you breathe the air, you may end up becoming sick too.

Symptoms

The very first symptom is the common cold, in the case of whooping cough. Then it goes through the following stages:

  • Mild amount of coughing
  • Then sneezing
  • Then you start to experience a runny nose
  • Then you get sick and have a fever, but the temperature is not very high
  • A few patients also experience diarrhea, but at an early stage

After about a week or ten days, the “coughing spells” arise. This leads to the whooping sound. It happens whenever the person tries to breathe. You will not be able to find mucus in the cough, since it is a dry cough. The spell might last for about a minute. At times it may also turn the color of your face to purple or red, after an intense coughing session.

In the case of infants, they might not produce the whooping sound. However, keep note of infants gasping for breath or they might try to catch their breath in between coughing spells.

How to diagnose whooping cough

Through medical tests, you may find out from confirmed reports whether or not you are suffering from whooping cough ailment. A few tests need to be taken. They are:

  • Throat or nose test
  • A chest X-ray
  • Blood tests

Whooping cough risk factors

Children who are younger than six months old are at a greater risk when they are infected with whooping cough. They would need to take three shots of DTaP vaccine to stay safe from this disease.

As reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one or two infants are hospitalized due to whooping cough and they even die due to this disease.