Whooping cough is a highly contagious infection caused by the bacteria Bordetella pertussis, which causes attacks of coughing that usually end in a prolonged inspiration, deep and emitting a piercing sound -cough.
Whooping cough, which at one time did damage in many countries and is still a major problem in the world, comes back with some frequency in some developed countries. A person can contract whooping cough at any age, but in half of cases occur in children under 4 years. An attack of whooping cough does not always guarantee immunity for life, but the second attack, when it occurs, is usually mild and not always recognized as such.
An infected person spread of pertussis organisms in the air through droplets of moisture expelled by coughing. Anyone who is nearby can inhale them and become infected. A person with pertussis is usually not contagious after the third week of illness.
Whooping cough is caused by the bacteria Bordetella pertussis, although there are a small percentage of cases that is caused by other microorganisms distinct, but the same kind - B. parapertussis.
The infection is spread by direct contagion from person to person through respiratory secretions contaminated, disposed of by the people affected by coughing or by small droplets of saliva that are floating on air after being expelled to speak. The organism enters through the respiratory tract and down into the lining of the larynx, trachea and bronchi, which causes the development of an inflammatory process.
A single contact with the bacteria responsible is, in most cases, sufficient to produce an infection.
Manifestations and evolution
The incubation period from the time of production of infection to onset of the first manifestations of the disease lasts from one to two weeks. Then, a succession of three typical stages: the catarrhal, paroxysmal and the convalescent.
Catarrhal stage: This phase, which is the beginning of the illness, begins with symptoms typical of a common cold such as runny nose and sneezing www.herbalcureindia.com/products/tulasi.htm, eye irritation and tearing, associated with a sensation of throat irritation and dry cough, which often intensify overnight. The patient is usually affected by a state of malaise, you feel weak, lose appetite and usually has from the beginning, a mild fever, although cases cm which the body temperature remains near normal. This phase, highly contagious, lasts about two weeks.
Paroxysmal phase: Throughout this phase the signs disappear and catarrhal symptoms and body temperature tends to return to normal, while the cough becomes more intense and takes a specific form, as it begins to manifest the so-called paroxysmal cough, which characterized by several consecutive bouts of coughing, ending with a deep breath and accompanied by a shrill unpleasant or squeal typical, in some cases, the attack of coughing ends with vomiting.
The attacks tend to recur until the sticky mucus that clogs the airways are inflamed expelled. Although the frequency of these attacks varies, in serious cases, especially in infants, are repeated so often that leaves the patient to sleep. In some cases, the attacks are so intense that disrupt the arrival of air to the lungs for a prolonged period, making the skin temporarily acquires a bluish color (cyanosis). However, after one or two weeks, the attacks begin to be less constant and gradually less intense, although it persists for more than a few weeks and sometimes for more than a couple of months.
Convalescent phase: Over three or four weeks of coughing episodes arise in isolation, without paroxysmal attacks, less hassle. The affected individual usually recovers fully and cure of the disease generally does not cause major complications.
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