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An acute infectious disease, usually of young children called as peruses. The spectrum of disease varies from severe illness to atypical and mild illness without whoop. The Chinese call it a “Hundred Day Cough”. Whooping cough occurs in all the countries. In many parts of the world, peruses is still a clinically serious illness, with high mortality and complication rates.

Whooping cough occurs endemically and epidemically. Since the reporting of whooping cough is usually inadequate, reliable information about the incidence of the disease is lacking in most countries. Whooping cough occurs worldwide but most deaths are in countries of Africa, Asia and Central and Latin America. Cases are on the increase in some Eastern European countries. It is one of the most lethal diseases of infants and young children who have not been immunized, and in those who are malnourished and have other respiratory infections such as pneumonia. Case fatality rates in developing countries range from 4-15%.In India there is marked decline of whooping cough from 1987 to 2000.


  • The causative agent
  • Bordetella pertussis
  • Bordetella parapertussis
  • Bpertussis occurs in smooth and rough phases, capsulated and non-capsulated forms. They elaborate an exotoxin and endotoxin. Clinical disease is associated with encapsulated, phase 1 strains. The bacterium survives only for very short periods outside the human body.
  • Source of infection
  • Infection is caused in man. The source is a case of pertussis which may be mild missed and unrecognized cases. A chronic carrier state does not exist.
  • Infective material
  • The bacilli occur in nasopharyngeal and bronchial secretions which are infective. Objects freshly contaminated by such discharges are also infective.
  • Environmental factors
  • The disease shows a seasonal trend with more cases occurring during winter and spring months, due to overcrowding. Thus, the risk of exposure is greater in the lower social classes living in overcrowded conditions than in well-to-do groups.
  • Mode of transmission
  • By droplet infection
  • By direct contact


Usually the disease lasts between 7 to 14 days, not more than 3 weeks.
pertussis produces a local infection; the organism is not invasive. It multiplies on the surface epithelium of the respiratory tract and causes inflammation and necrosis of the mucosa leading to secondary bacterial invasion. Three stages are described in the clinical course of the disease:

  • Catarrhal stage - lasting for about 10 days. Its symptoms are rhinitis, sneezing, lacrimation, slight fever and irritating cough.
  • Paroxysmal stage - lasting for about 2-4 weeks. Cough becomes paroxysmal, with repeated series of many coughs followed by a sudden deep inspiration, with a characteristic crowing sound or “whoop”.
  • Convalescent stage – lasting for 1-2 weeks. The illness generally lasts 6 to 8 weeks.

The complications of pertussis are bronchitis; bronchopneumonia and Bronchiectasis. The violence of the paroxysms may precipitate subconjunctival haemorrhages, epistaxis, and haemoptysis and punctuate cerebral hemorrhages which may cause convolutions and coma. Permanent brain damage may occur due to cerebral anoxia during the paroxysms.

Natural Home Remedies:

  • Ginger juice with fenugreek decoction and honey
  • Radish juice with honey.
  • Almond oil with white onion juice.

Aarogya treatment center in Kerala is best known medical center for the treatment of whooping cough.
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