Whooping Cough for Babies: What You Need To Know, And How To Stay Safe

Whooping cough for babies can cause severe problems if not treated on time.

It is a highly infectious respiratory tract infection, caused by the bacteria Bordetella pertussis.

Its most common symptoms are generally uncontrolled- Hard coughing, and problems associated with breathing.

Children suffering from pertussis often struggle to take breaths properly and often make a weird   “whooping” sound.

Every year, thousands of cases related to pertussis have been identified, although the full extent of this disease is unknown,

It can infect people at any age group but in a large number of cases, it affects young children and infants.

What is whooping cough?

Whooping cough is a severe respiratory tract infection that is highly contagious and caused by a bacteria known as Bordetella pertussis.

Young infants are the most vulnerable because they are not old enough to make antibodies to fight off the infection.

How long do babies need to be in the hospital after getting whooping cough?

There are many different outcomes in babies who are admitted to the hospital with whooping cough.

Whooping cough for babies below 6 months of age can be highly fatal and life-threatening.

In rare cases, babies who are admitted to the hospital with whooping cough can die from it (If treated on time). This is known as hospital-acquired pertussis.

The most common outcome is that the infant is put on an antibiotics course to kill off the bacteria.

Most babies who are admitted to the hospital with whooping cough will improve with time. They can return home after discharge from the hospital.

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Who can get whooping cough?

Pertussis spreads in the air when a cough is released.

It can be spread even if the person who is coughing doesn’t make any sounds.

Whooping cough is contagious starting about four days before symptoms start to show.

It can stay in the air for about two weeks.

Whooping cough can be serious in babies Although most infants do not experience severe illness.

Whooping cough for babies is serious and potentially life-threatening.

They’re also at greater risk of infection from a second person who is infected with the bacteria.

This is why it’s important to keep babies with pertussis away from those with no signs or symptoms.

In many cases, whooping cough usually does not cause serious illness.

How do I know if my child’s got a whooping cough?

This is difficult to predict.

A respiratory tract infection is more likely than not to cause coughing in any case.

The symptoms of whooping cough for babies always start like the common cold, runny nose, repeated sneezing, mild cough and fever.

Determining if pertussis is the cause requires a chest X-ray, measuring height, weight, and a negative Swine Flu test.

These tests are usually obtained when the baby is 6 weeks old or older, although some doctors may still do a cough test or spot test at that age.

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Why do babies who are asymptomatic sometimes get pertussis?

 Most pertussis cases occur in babies who are well before the age of six months.

This is because pertussis does not normally affect adults.

Because babies are too young to prevent infection, they can be infected by coughs or sneezes of older babies or any infected individual.

How to prevent whooping cough in babies?

Vaccination is the best choice to prevent Whooping cough for babies.

Doctors always recommend vaccination be started during infancy.

Whooping cough can spread rapidly. So, health professionals or anyone with suspected symptoms to stay at home and call their doctor or health center first.

The advice to stay at home is based on WHO’s recent recommendations for healthcare workers.

The incubation period for whooping cough can be anywhere from 7-14 days (average 8-10 days), but symptoms of the disease can emerge even after the incubation period has passed.

Often, the first symptoms are mild in babies and children.

In fact, most people are not affected by whooping cough unless they get sick at least a few days after they first became exposed to it.

If you think your baby has whooping cough or any other respiratory disease, seek medical attention immediately.

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 How can we protect our babies from whooping cough?

The best preventive mechanism to prevent whooping cough for babies is by getting vaccinated with the pertussis vaccine.

Vaccination is recommended at the age of 2 months, 4 months, and 6 months at infancy followed by a booster dose at 15 to 18 months and later at 4 to 6 years ( Recommended by CDC)

 Doctors often provide this vaccine in combination with two other vaccines against two serious diseases called diphtheria and tetanus.

What can we do if our child is infected by pertussis?

In babies under one year of age, whooping cough can lead to pneumonia, seizures, brain damage, and ultimately death.

Parents are advised to seek immediate medical attention if their baby is not feeling well or shows signs of difficulty in breathing.

Dr. Elly Moseley, professor of community and primary care at the University of Southampton, said: “Babies who are at higher risk can be given antibiotics to prevent them from getting worse. “Without proper treatment, their cough can last for months, which can be very stressful for babies and parents, and makes them very vulnerable to infection. “Children going to school and young people who work in groups need to undergo the same precautions.”

Whooping cough is mainly a bacterial infection, hence as per doctors, antibiotics are treated as the primary mode of treatment.

Antibiotics are regarded as highly effective in the early stages of Pertussis.

Antibiotics can also be used in the later stages of the disease to prevent the spreading of the disease to others.

From which insect we get the amino acid is obtained for the treatment of whooping cough?

Proteins are known as organic compounds which consist of amino acids.

The nutritive value of protein depends on various factors: protein content, protein quality and the kind of amino acids present (essential amino acids or nonessential amino acids) and whether the quality meets human needs, and protein digestibility.

The Essential amino acids are highly essential for us because our body cannot synthesize them and so they be must be obtained from various food sources.

The protein content is more in insects and therefore using insects as a source of food can help increase the quality of diet when including any type of animal proteins.

The protein content of various insects also varies by their species.

The Protein content also depends on the feed of the insects.

It is seen that Grasshoppers in Nigeria that are fed with bran, contain high levels of essential fatty acids, while the amount of protein almost doubles when they are fed on maize.

several caterpillars of Insects species of the Saturniidae family, palm weevil larvae, and some aquatic
insects
are found to have amino acid levels for lysine much higher than 100 mg amino acid per 100 g of crude protein.

It is highly essential to compare the nutritional quality of amino acids against that of a particular edible insect that is locally available in a region.

For example,

Peoples In the Democratic Republic of the congo, eat lysine-rich caterpillars which complement their lysine-poor staple proteins.
Likewise, In Papua New Guinea peoples eat tubers which are poor in both lysine and leucine but they compensate for this nutrition gap by eating larvae of palm weevil.

In African countries like Angola, Kenya, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe, where maize is considered a staple food, there are widespread tryptophan and lysine deficiencies are commonly observed.
Now, supplementing diets with various termite species such as Macrotermes bellicosus, should
be a relatively best option, as they are already consumed as parts of traditional diets.

Source: Edible Insects – Future prospects for food and feed security

Conclusion

Pertussis is a highly contagious disease, which means people with the disease can pass it on to those around them if they are in close contact.

Dogs can also contract pertussis, and so getting them vaccinated against it is an important public health prevention measure.

Puppies and other young dogs are more susceptible to pertussis and even more so to complications such as pneumonia and life-threatening dehydration.

Young dogs that show signs of having the disease should be made a priority for treatment, with more aggressive methods applied to prevent the spread of the disease.

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