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  • Answer 1/11

    What is whooping cough named after?

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    If you have this infection, also called pertussis, you may get a severe, hacking cough. It can cause you to gasp for air, which makes a sharp "whoop" sound. The noise doesn't happen to all adults, though. Some people just get a cough they can't control.

  • Question 1/11

    What causes whooping cough?

  • Answer 1/11

    What causes whooping cough?

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    Whooping cough is caused by bacteria called Bordetella pertussis. When someone with the disease coughs or sneezes, they spray these germs into the air. If you're close enough, you can breathe them in and get sick, too. The illness is highly contagious. One person can infect up to 12 to 15 others.

  • Question 1/11

    What do early symptoms of whooping cough look like?

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    What do early symptoms of whooping cough look like?

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    After you've had contact with whooping cough germs, symptoms can take up to 10 days to show up. Once they do, they look a lot like a cold. You may have a stuffy or runny nose, watery eyes, and a low-grade fever. A dry cough will also start. Then, over the next week or so, more severe symptoms set in.

  • Question 1/11

    How long is whooping cough contagious?

  • Answer 1/11

    How long is whooping cough contagious?

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    You can spread the disease to others as soon as you start to have symptoms. You're likely to pass on your illness during the first 2 weeks of your cough.

  • Question 1/11

    To figure out if you have whooping cough, a doctor looks at your:

  • Answer 1/11

    To figure out if you have whooping cough, a doctor looks at your:

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    Sometimes, your doctor just has to hear your cough to know you have it. To confirm it's whooping cough, they'll swab mucus from your nose or the back of your throat. A lab technician tests the sample for the germ that causes the disease.

  • Question 1/11

    If you cough hard enough, you can crack your:

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    If you cough hard enough, you can crack your:

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    Some coughing spells are strong enough to damage your ribs. You can also burst blood vessels in your skin or eyes and get nosebleeds. Although rare, people with whooping cough can get an abdominal hernia, where an organ pushes through the wall of your belly.

  • Question 1/11

    Whooping cough is treated with:

  • Answer 1/11

    Whooping cough is treated with:

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    Antibiotics will help make your infection less severe. They'll also limit the amount of time that you're able to spread the disease to others. For these drugs to work best, you need to start them early in your illness, before any severe coughing starts. If you wait more than 3 weeks for treatment, antibiotics don't work as well. Your body has already shed the germ that causes whooping cough, although your symptoms remain.

  • Question 1/11

    To help ease your symptoms at home, you can try:

  • Answer 1/11

    To help ease your symptoms at home, you can try:

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    The cool air from a humidifier will help clear mucus from your lungs and make it easier to breathe. A warm shower can do the trick, too. Save your money and skip over-the-counter cough syrups because they won't do much good. And to avoid nausea from frequent coughing, try eating smaller meals more often rather than three big meals.

  • Question 1/11

    How long does whooping cough last?

  • Answer 1/11

    How long does whooping cough last?

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    This infection can hang around for a while. The good news is that after about 4 weeks, you likely won't be coughing as much or as hard. Still, you may have a coughing spell now and then for a few more months.

  • Question 1/11

    The best way to prevent whooping cough is to:

  • Answer 1/11

    The best way to prevent whooping cough is to:

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    People of all ages can get the whooping cough vaccine. Kids younger than 7 get a shot called DTaP, while older children, teens, and adults get Tdap. You need a Tdap booster every 10 years. It also keeps you safe from tetanus and diphtheria.

  • Question 1/11

    If you're pregnant, when should you get the vaccine?

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    If you're pregnant, when should you get the vaccine?

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    Moms-to-be should get the Tdap vaccine when they're in their final trimester (27 to 36 weeks) of every pregnancy. That way, you might help shield your baby from whooping cough until they are old enough to get vaccinated.

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Sources | Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, MS, DO on February 12, 2021 Medically Reviewed on February 12, 2021

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, MS, DO on
February 12, 2021

IMAGE PROVIDED BY:

1) yourstockbank / Getty Images

 

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: "Whooping cough."

National Organization for Rare Disorders: "Rare Disease Database: Pertussis."

CDC: "Pertussis (Whooping Cough): Diagnosis and Treatment," "Pertussis Frequently Asked Questions," "Pertussis Complications."

National Foundation for Infectious Diseases/Adult Vaccination: "Pertussis (Whooping Cough)," "Facts About Whooping Cough for Adults."

Family Doctor: "Whooping Cough."

Immunization Action Coalition: "Pertussis (Whooping Cough) Questions and Answers."

SA Health/Government of South Australia: "Whooping cough (pertussis) -- including symptoms, treatment and prevention."

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