Last updated:09-05-2008
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Definition and causes

Pertussis is a highly contagious disease that causes severe hosteanfald. In young children, whooping cough can be a very serious illness, and in Denmark is vaccination against whooping cough part of børnevaccinationsprogrammet . Vaccination protects only partially against whooping cough, so that you can get whooping cough, even if you are vaccinated.

Whooping cough is due to infection with the bacteriumBordetella pertussis. The disease often has three stages, where the first stage is very similar to a general cold . The second stage products 2-6 weeks, and seen the violent hosteanfald, where the child may have difficulty obtaining air. In the third stage customer hosteanfaldene in both frequency and severity.

Symptoms of whooping cough

First stage (the kataralske stage):
This stage products 1-2 weeks, and the child has runny nose and possible. a little fever. There can not distinguish between whooping cough and general cold .
The second stage (the konvulsive or paroxysmale stage):
This is between 2 and 6 weeks, and seen the classic hosteanfald the child:

  • Do to cough all the air out of the lungs in sudden hosteanfald.

  • After coughing take the child a deep breath, where you can hearkigen, Which means the emergence of a distinctive sound, because there is so much space in the airways.

  • Can be bluish in the skin of the face, because it does not receive enough oxygen.

  • Can throw up after hosteanfaldet.

  • Can few small punktformede blodudtrædninger in the skin of the face and eyes mucous membranes.

It is characteristic that the child's breathing is normal between hosteanfald, and the child has no fever.

Third stage (konvalescensstadiet)
Hosteanfaldene will be milder and less frequently. There may be many months hosteanfald occur in connection with infections of the airways.

Precautions and diagnosis

Particularly if small children (under 1 year) has anfaldsvis cough without fever for more than week, one should consult a doctor. Doctors can graft from næsesvælget to demonstrate on Bordetalla pertussis bacterium is present. There can also take a blood sample, which in some cases can be seen that a single type of white blood cells (lymphocytes) are highly overrepresented in relation to normal. This is not always the case.

Treatment of whooping cough

Pertussis can be treated with antibiotics. If treatment begins before kighosten reached the second stage, the disease can be stopped. If treatment first start in the second stage, the disease can not be stopped but only weakened, and the period of the spill Monday, shortened.

Children under 1 year should be treated as they threaten to have serious problems in getting air under hosteanfald. Likewise, older children or adults treated if they live with a baby at risk of being infected by them. Children under 3 months or children who are blue in the face in connection with hosteanfald, may want. hospitalised for treatment and observation at the hospital.

Select and complications

Pertussis is usually over by itself during 6-10 weeks. There may be much variation in the included child is of whooping cough. Small children are usually hit harder than older children and adults. In some cases, complicated the process of developing pneumonia or middle .



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