Patient Comments: Whooping Cough (Pertussis) - Experience

Please describe your experience with whooping cough (pertussis).

Comment from: james, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: December 07

I think I have pertussis, it seems like I get it every year. They gave me an inhaler this time but it is not working. I just found out there is a vaccine for pertussis. Also I think the next best thing for it is a Z-Pak. I hate having to deal with this.

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Comment from: Tlightfo, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: November 24

I am 66 and got whooping cough (WC) on 7/12/15. I have no official diagnosis but the emergency room (ER) doctor said it sounds like WC. Four hours in the ER and USD 8000 later, I went home without an official diagnosis because the 2nd ER doctor didn't request the swab to be checked for the bacteria. It is November 21st and I am still coughing occasionally. Three of the four doctors said it is acid reflux. I am so frustrated.

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Comment from: cindy, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 25

I have been ill for 3 weeks. I have had 3 different antibiotics, but I am still sick. I keep coughing up green stuff, can't breathe at night and vomit every morning and sometimes at night. I am too scared to go to bed because I can't breathe. No doctor has given me any answers; I think I could have whooping cough.

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Comment from: ndhairangel, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 02

I got sick with a bad cold. The sneezing was very severe. About a week later I started coughing and felt it in my chest. The cough subsided and then a week later came back very strong. I went to a doctor (5 weeks into it) and was told I had pneumonia and treated with amoxicillin (which doesn't work on pertussis) and given 2 courses. I messed around with this for a month and noticed I wasn't really getting much better and even got worse during the last course. As soon as I got off the 2nd antibiotic I started coughing again and it got bad this time. I went to the doctor again and a different one who told me that it sounded like pertussis. He gave me a strong antibiotic and I started to feel better towards the end of it again but, just like before, it got bad again when I stopped taking it. Soon after, I woke up in the night and couldn't breathe and went to the emergency room (ER). This time they finally they did an official test for B. pertussis and gave me azithromycin and prednisone. I am still coughing and crackling at night and fear that when the medicine runs out, so does my luck. I haven't worked in 4 months due to the urinary incontinence and the terrible coughing. I have sore ribs and have even had a bladder infection due to the constant blows of pressure to my abdomen. I am grateful to these sites where we can tell our own story because reading about it made me know that this is what I am dealing with. I have not been vaccinated for whooping cough since pre-teen but I will now get the boosters every 10 years. I don't even want this again!

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Comment from: Miki, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: August 05

When I was about 12 I caught whooping cough. My grandma had been a nurse and my mum had had it as a child, so both recognized the symptoms, particularly when my mum caught it off me about a month later. I went to multiple doctors multiple times, who first gave me antibiotics suspecting a chest infection, second gave me a Ventolin inhaler thinking that excessive mucus was sticking my airways closed. Neither doctor would admit, or even consider that I had whooping cough because I'd been vaccinated. One made me blow into a tube as hard as possible which of course caused a coughing fit right there in his office; he essentially ignored it. It lasted for about 3 months. I barely ate because I'm also emetophobic, so I only vomited once. One day I went to school having had quite a bit of time off, but instantly wasn't feeling up to staying. I went to the office and explained the situation, and they said I needed a note from my form teacher to be able to be sent home. My form teacher who was up two flights of stairs. I hadn't even begun climbing before I started a coughing retching fit and another teacher found me. Not good. Afterwards I found out something about the vaccine; it can sometimes alter the classic 'whooping' sound you're supposed to make. Perhaps that's why the doctors wouldn't believe us, the sound I made was an awful sound of desperate, labored inhalation. I can honestly say it's the worst illness I've ever had, I was scared of coughing for months after it was gone. I agree when people say they wouldn't wish it on their worst enemy. It's truly dreadful. Plus, there's pretty much nothing you can do. Maybe if I'd been given relevant medication I wouldn't have suffered so badly.

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Comment from: tom, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: January 23

I have had whooping cough for 2 to 5 months. It started like tonsillitis and after a week I got that terrible cough, during one night I even broke a rib. The worst cough lasted for about 3 weeks, when I had the spasms, vomited and gasped. But from the very beginning I have had a terrible laryngitis, my voice almost does not exist, I am terribly hoarse. The doctor told me I have swollen vocal cords. I still cough a lot although without the spasms, but I have lots of mucus in my larynx.

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Patient Comments

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Whooping Cough (Pertussis) - Symptoms Question: What symptoms did you experience with whooping cough?
Whooping Cough (Pertussis) - Vaccine Question: Did your child receive the whooping cough (pertussis) vaccine? If not, why? If yes, were there any side effects?
Whooping Cough (Pertussis) - Treatment Question: What kinds of treatment, including medication, were used for your child's whooping cough (pertussis)?

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