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Pertussis is a violent cough sometimes called whooping cough. A vaccine for pertussis was developed in 1948. Before then children in the United States often died from it. The disease is rising again because fewer people are getting vaccinated.
Signs and Symptoms
The three phases of the disease are listed below.
Catarrhal phase (lasts one to two weeks):
Paroxysmal phase (lasts one to four weeks):
Convalescent phase (lasts two weeks to several months):
What Causes It?
A type of bacteria causes pertussis and it is spread through droplets coughed into the air. It is a highly contagious disease.
What to Expect at Your Provider's Office
Your health care provider will will prescribe an antibiotic which helps prevent the disease from spreading. Patients with complications severe coughing bouts or who are under one year of age are hospitalized.
Treatment is largely to control symptoms and prevent the spread of the disease. You will be isolated for seven days while you take antibiotics. It is important not to use a cough suppressant. Suctioning of secretions oxygen and intravenous fluids and electrolytes are used for infants and long illnesses. Mist by tent also may benefit infants.
Over the Counter
Complementary and Alternative Therapies
Pertussis can be treated with nutrition herbs and homeopathy.
Note: Doses given are for children. Adults should double the amounts.
Herbs may be used as dried extracts (capsules powders teas) glycerites (glycerine extracts) or tinctures (alcohol extracts). Teas should be made with 1 tsp. herb per cup of hot water. Steep covered 5 to 10 minutes for leaf or flowers and 10 to 20 minutes for roots.
Catarrhal stage: Choose two herbs from each of the first three categories. Combine in equal parts in a tea ( 1/2 cup every three to four hours) a tincture or glycerite (30 drops every three to four hours).
Paroxysmal stage: In addition to the above formula combine 2 parts of catnip with two to four of the other antispasmodic herbs in a tincture or glycerite (20 drops every one to two hours).
Some of the most common remedies for pertussis are listed below.
May enhance immunity and decrease duration and severity of infection.
Foot massage has a relaxing effect and can help induce sleep.
Complete recovery is expected unless there are complications.
Vaccinations are 80 to 90 percent effective. They last about 12 years.
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