Whooping Cough (Pertussis)
Whooping cough is a highly infectious disease mainly affecting infants and young children.
What to look for
It leads to inflammation of the whole respiratory tract and can be serious. Whooping cough begins as a normal cold, which develops into a cough. Thick mucus irritates the airways. Gradually, the coughing becomes severe and long bouts begin with a spasm and end up with a 'whoop' as the child fights for breath. The child may vomit, burst small blood vessels of the eyes (which heal) with the effort of coughing. The illness may last ten weeks.
Whooping cough is caused by a bacterium which is spread in coughed-out airborne droplets.
When to seek further professional advice
If you think your child has got whooping cough you should take them to see a doctor so that he may treat them properly.
Homeopathy: Homeopathic remedies which can be taken include drosera if the throat is very tickilish and kali carb. for a hard dry hacking cough. Use cuprum if coughing leaves the child exhausted and out of breath, if their lips turn blue, their toes/fingers cramp and drinks of cold water appear to help.
Western Herbalism: There are a number of herbs which are suitable for children. See your herbalist for individual treatment.
Antibiotics can be used in the first stage of the disease but these are of little use once the coughing begins. The child should be kept warm and given plenty to drink. The DTP vaccine is routinely offered to British babies at two, three and four months. There is a rare chance of an adverse reaction-but greater a greater danger from the disease itself.
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