Whooping Chough

Whooping cough which is also known as Pertussis is caused by infection by the
Bordetella Pertussis bacteria. It is a highly contagious bacterial disease that
affects the respiratory system and produces spasms of coughing that usually end
in a high-pitched whooping sound. In this report I will describe how Pertussis
is spread, contracted, what treatments are available for it and the prognosis
for the patient. I will also tell you about the many symptoms of the disease.

Etiology: Pertussis is caused by Bordetella Pertussis the bacteria invades the
nose and throat and then the trachea followed by the bronchial tubes of the
lungs. People usually contract the bacteria through the air when an infected
person coughs or sneezes. Then people inhale or come in contact with the
infected saliva. People who have been immunized in the past may still develop
infection but it is usually atypical or very mild that is another cause of
whooping cough. The incubation period is usually about 7 days. Morphology &
Diagnosis: Pertussis is a round shaped gram positive bacteria. Some of the
symptoms of Pertussis include runny nose, coughing that may be dry or may
produce sputum. Along with a fever usually 102F or lower. Severe coughing
attacks that ends in a high-pitched crowing sound when inhaling or it will end
in a high-pitched “whoop”. The coughing spells may end in a momentary
loss of consciousness and or vomiting. It also results in difficulty at
breathing. It also can cause some people to have diarrhea. When some small
infants have long spells of coughing they usually begin to cry which causes them
to choke on there own tears. Pertussis can be treated by DtaP which is a vaccine
that protects children against the disease. During epidemics, health care
providers or others at risk may be advised to receive a booster dose of the
vaccine. The immunization is not 100 percent effective and has slowly becomes
less effective over the past few years. Some tests that can be performed to tell
if a person has contracted are to take a culture of the secretions from the nose
and mouth and throat. A complete blood count or CBC which measures the number of
red blood cells and white blood cells in the blood. If there is an with an
elevated number of white blood cell count characterized by large numbers of
lymphocytes. There are also serologic tests for Pertussis. Treatment: The
Treatments include Erythromycin which is an antibiotic that is administered and
may shorten the duration of the symptoms. Infants under 18 months of age require
constant supervision because breathing may temporarily stop during spells of
sever coughing. Infants with severe cases should be hospitalized. An oxygen tent
with high humidity may be used. Intravenous fluid may be given if coughing
spells are severe enough to prevent enough fluid intake by mouth. Sedatives may
also be prescribed for young children. Cough suppressants are usually not
helpful and should not be used. Prognosis: The prognosis for a person who leaves
Pertussis untreated in infants has a poor outcome. The disease has a one percent
to 2 percent death rate. Death may occur from lack of oxygen to the brain and
bronchopneumonia. Some other complications that may occur are slowed or stopped
breathing, nose bleeds, pneumonia, convulsions which are caused by a lack of
oxygen and can cause permanent brain damage. Some of the more serious effects
are anoxic encephalopathy, cerebral hemorrhage, seizures and developmental
retardation. Miscellaneous: In Ethiopia rural doctors give a vaccination for
Pertussis to people in street markets in an effort to increase the immunity rate
of their country. Pertussis has becomes an epidemic about every 2-4 years. It
usually affects non-immunized children with a history of contact to the bacteria
the most. Personal Reflection: Matts reflection: When I think of Whooping cough
I don’t think of it as a major epidemic. The reason why I believe this is
because there is not much information on the subject and I had a very difficult
time finding pictures of the bacteria and its effects. I suppose that if 10 out
of every 100,000 people are infected with it then it must not be a very large
problem. The disease doesn’t to seem to have very sever side effects if it is
left untreated. I am almost certain that in a few more years Whooping cough will
disappear. Roberts reflection: My opinion is a little different than Matts but
in some ways I feel the same. First off I do agree that in this day and age it
is not a sever problem and can only infect a very small amount of the
population. But on the other hand I think that perhaps in third world countries
it may be a rampid problem do to the fact that most people aren’t immunized
against it. Even then the only people who are usually effected by the disease
are children under 2 years old. They are the main targets of this disease
because they don’t have an adequate immune systems to fight of the bacteria. Now
maybe back in the 1900’s Whooping cough would of been an epidemic because of
their very limited amount of technology and they wouldn’t of known how to treat
the disease or how to contain it. With all this in mind I think that Whooping
cough is not a serious problem and like Matt said in a few years I think the
disease will die off and Whooping cough will be a thing of the past. Glossary:
Etiology: The cause of a disease Morphology: Physical charstics of a pathogen.

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Diagnosis: What symptoms the pathogen shows and what tests can be performed to
detect the disease. Prognosis: What the doctor predicts the out come will be.

Erythromycin: A antibiotic used to shorten the duration of the symptoms of
Whooping cough. CBC: A measurement of the number of red and white blood cells in
the plasma. DtaP: A vaccine that protects children against the Whooping

The Morit students Encyclopedia Volume 19 Holt science Biology book
visualizing life Internet http:// www.newss.ksu.edu/web/newsreleasees/listwhoopingchough.html
http:// www.drugcase.co2c.data.mediainfo.wcough.html http:// www.mctrokc.gov/helth/precont/pertuss.html
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