Whooping cough is also known as Pertussis, which is a very highly contagious and communicable bacterial disease.

The severity of the disease depends on the stability of one’s immune system, and as well as if such people already have comorbidities, or other diseases,already. Pertussis, known also as Whooping cough, can be a serious infection of the respiratory tractif left untreated. Complications can be deadly. 20 to 30 percent of adults experience pertussiscomplications every year. And the disease is the most often occurring fatal infectious disease of newborns. Pertussis occurs half the time in those less than 4 years of age. The cause is due to a microbe called Bordetella pertussis, a communicable gramnegative coccobicillus that was first described during the 1600s, yet was not isolated until the turn of the 19thcentury. What is unique about this microbe is that its pathogen is specifically designed for a human to be its host. Pertussis is endemic throughout the world, which means that it is prevalent to particular unimmunized regions and is cyclic every few years. There are 40 million or so cases of Pertussis every year, with about 300,000 deaths worldwide every year as well. This disease can last up to between one to two months, and pertussis consists of three stages during the duration of this illness. There have been outbreaks of this disease in certain states in America over the past few decades, and an overall increase in the occurrence of Pertussis in America. It affects the elderly and infants the most as far as severity and complications. Pertussis. Symptoms of this disease usually appear a little over a week after exposure to the bacteria responsible for this disease. Also, Pertussis is most aggressive in the Spring and Fall seasons. However, in December of 2008, areas in the Middle secion of the United States witnessed outbreaks of pertussis that far exceeded in numbers of cases compared to what they expected. In fact, last year saw nearly 10,000 cases of Pertussis, and that is the most who have acquired this disease in over 40 years. It is a bacterial infection, so diagnosing Pertussis is done through performing a culture to isolate the bacteria that is causing the disease, so the proper antibiotic can be given to the patient. The antibiotic is usually most effective is from a class of antibiotics known as macrolides. If pertussis patients do in fact experience complications from this infection, they are usually placed in respiratory isolation in a medical institution. Vaccinations, available since about 1950, are usually and often administered in developed countries- including the United States. This includes a booster pertussis

vaccination as the child gets older- since the pertussis vaccine may wear off its effectiveness after about 5 years. 5 doses of the vaccine are administered overall, with three of these doses during one’s infancy, one dose as a toddler, and one dose as a child. The ones for children are known as DTP vaccinations. www.cdc.gov should provide you with additional information---- Dan Abshear

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