Patient Comments: Whooping Cough (Pertussis) - Experience

Please describe your experience with whooping cough (pertussis).

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: BGLisa, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 13

I am in week 7 of whooping cough (pertussis). I am a little better than I was 2 weeks ago. I'm just wondering if during this point in the illness anyone else is still vomiting up lots of mucus. It seems that this late in the game I should only have a deep dry cough.

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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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Comment from: McKenna, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 05

My 9 year old daughter has pertussis. She's around 7 weeks into the illness now and recovering. She was diagnosed TODAY by a specialist at a larger hospital and it was the same situation as others have described. She started with what our doctor thought was a cold, her asthma symptoms acted up that I had her sleep in bed with me so I could literally keep her breathing at night by propping her up and having the nebulizer ready when she opened her eyes. It was the most terrifying time. After several tests, antibiotics, medicines, and an immunology test (finally) we found out what it was. My oldest daughter now has the same symptoms and she's 19. She's around week 3 with the illness and our doctor is now treating her as well. I have a more mild case and am around week 3 also. We are all on Zithromax and my daughters are also on steroid inhalers. None of us had the "classic" whooping sound while coughing. Just a lot of strong coughing spells that cause us to breath in with a sucking sound, and lots of mucus that is choking. It's very difficult at night or immediately after eating. My children are not vaccinated against the illness b/c our doctor at the time my oldest had her vaccine told us not to due to her having a severe reaction to the first vaccine. He told us that biological siblings should not get the vaccine either since they could have the same reaction and have neurological complications. So here we are, trying to recover.

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Comment from: 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 05

I contracted whooping cough in 2002. At first I thought it was just a cold, and treated symptoms with OTC medications. After about a month, I went to my doctor who diagnosed "respiratory infection". I was put on antibiotics. It didn't help. After about another month, I again went to my doctor, who again diagnosed "respiratory infection" and told me it would just take time. Another course of antibiotics, and not much change. It finally cleared up after approximately five months. I didn't even realize that I had had whooping cough until about a year later when I read in the newspaper about a small "outbreak" of whooping cough in my state. Symptoms were severe enough that I would sometimes vomit after or at the end of a coughing fit. What finally clued me in was the signature "whoop" at the end of a coughing fit when I could finally breathe again, and would dramatically inhale. I was 48 years old at the time - I had had the vaccination as a child; apparently it wears off after nearly 50 years - imagine that. Since I have fibromyalgia, an autoimmune disease, my immune system is depressed, and had I known it was necessary, I would have had a booster. I still have problems with my lungs, and seem to catch every respiratory disease that is "going around" at the time.

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Comment from: darcemc, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 05

I was admitted into the ICU on July 31st due to an uncontrollable cough that the ER Dr, and myself, believed to be related to my asthma. After 5 days of being in the ICU I was transferred to a regular medical floor and then tested for pertussis which came back positive. 6 days later I was released from the hospital. Since then I have been miserable. I have 4 broken ribs, horrible coughing spells which frequently results in either throwing up or syncope, and severe chest, abdominal and back pain. I was a pediatric nurse and had to switch jobs as there was no way that I could return to work with the way I am feeling. I just started my new job behind the scenes in healthcare on Wednesday. I had to leave training early yesterday due to passing out after a bad coughing fit. At this point I feel as though this is never ending. I am super frustrated and very scared. That feeling of not being able to get a breath in gets me every time. I have taken 2 rounds of antibiotics and now have a fever again which started yesterday, body aches, fatigue, headaches, etc.

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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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