Patient Comments: Whooping Cough (Pertussis) - Symptoms

What symptoms did you experience with whooping cough?

A Doctor's View on Whooping Cough Symptoms

Read the Comment by Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

Though the symptoms of whooping cough may vary, in the early stages of the infection, symptoms typically resemble those of a cold -- sneezing, fever, nasal discharge, and a cough. Unlike a cold, whooping cough symptoms don't clear up in a couple of weeks; instead the symptoms get worse, particularly the coughing. Read the entire Doctor's View

Comment from: SockFiddler, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: September 29

My 10 year old son and I both have whooping cough, and I was expecting things to clear after taking antibiotics for a few days. However, after a week of the medicines, we're still both feeling incredibly poorly. I called the doctor this morning who said that antibiotics will stop you from being infectious, but won't do anything to stem the progression of the disease; miserable. Just to let you know that whooping cough is a notifiable infectious disease (in UK and Europe, probably in US and Canada, though I don't know). This means that, by law, suspected cases have to be reported to a local public health unit. Now we're deep in the throes of miserable coughing and inability to sleep, I can see why notification is required. Be responsible with your illness (doctors too!) and make sure it gets reported to the authorities. It's the only way they can track outbreaks and monitor immunization effectiveness.

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Comment from: HillbillyFairy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 21

The whooping cough started as a mild cold and within a few days I got a fever and slept for 2 days, when I wasn't too busy hacking up my lungs. I has severe cough for weeks, although the flu symptoms left within a week, leaving mild fatigue and cough behind. I began working out again, and it was very difficult at first. Now almost 2 months later, I am feeling strong but cough is still here. Cough is much less severe but husband is a doctor and insists I get an x-ray tomorrow.

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Comment from: Mongi, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 29

I contracted the '100 day cough' in September 2014. It started with what I thought was a mild case of flu, which because is worse with fevers and chills, but man-o-man, I'd swop the flu for whooping cough any day. I was fortunate in that my coughing subsided at night or when lying very still, but day-time cough and gasping for breath was terrible, constant, non-abating, spasms of coughing, resulting in bruised ribs on two occasions. My physician finally strapped my ribs which helped a lot. I also produced copious amounts of thick saliva. My spasms lasted for 111 days! Now, some 4 months later, I'm still coughing from time to time, but thank goodness the constant spasms have gone and the cough is bearable. I am now producing a lot of phlegm (as opposed to saliva). To this day my general physician (GP) will not call it whooping cough, just refers to it as the 100 day cough! In the earlier stages my GP advised a lung function test to rule out asthma, as well as a chest x-ray, both of which were clear, but strangely never suggested a blood test for pertussis. It's a really nasty disease and I hope I never have to endure it again!

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Comment from: Marriott, 7-12 Female (Caregiver) Published: June 28

I have just spent 4 weeks with my daughters coughing and struggling to breathe at night. So bad that they look like someone is strangling them as they gasp for breath. After 2 hospital visits and numerous doctor visits, I suggested we check for whooping cough and they were both positive. Be aware if you or your kids have been coughing for an extended period of time and ask your doctor for the swab. It is easy and painless and worth the time.

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Comment from: Siggy, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 30

Pertussis is apparently everywhere and adults need a booster vaccine. I was sent home from the emergency room with an antibiotic after coughing for 5 weeks but only a low grade fever. I was sent for an EGD to check for gastric reflux cough and it was negative. No doctor checked for pertussis. Have coughed with mucus for 8 weeks and will see a pulmonologist next week. I still cannot believe how sick I have been. I still cannot believe all the doctors never checked for whooping cough and I have never been offered a vaccination or been advised to get vaccinated!

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Comment from: denise, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 17

I have been sick now for 3 weeks with whooping cough and at night I can't sleep. My back hurts and my ribs also hurt. I cough for over an hour some times.

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Patient Comments

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Whooping Cough (Pertussis) - Experience Question: Please describe your experience with whooping cough (pertussis).
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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