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: Francesca, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 30

Well, it is 1:46, and I can't sleep. I had a terrible what I call episode tonight, throwing up gasping for air, and urinating all over myself, because my main goal is just trying to gasp for air. Today I visited the hospital, where it was very apparent the diagnosis I had was whooping cough. It is not fun, can't eat, I'm exhausted and I am petrified to open my mouth, because I find anything can trigger it. I don't know how I contracted it, was at the doctor's three times in one week just being put on stronger and stronger medicines, because I had a big trip to Brazil that was approaching in less than a week. Hence when I got there it was bad, and hospitals in Brazil, well, let's say are nothing like American hospitals, but they did their best. Bottom line is if you are an adult, just go and get vaccinated, trust me this is terrible, not being able to gasp for air is the worst feeling. If you are sick and have a terrible cough ask the doctor to test you for it. I find what works for me is my breathing treatments that I do at home, as well as not having anything too cold or too hot, only room temperature. Don't eat late, and don't eat heavy, that will set it off. That's all for now, I hope you feel better.

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Comment from: Robbie, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: October 27

I have just been confirmed as having whooping cough. I first went to the general physician (GP) and was told I have viral laryngitis. I went back to a different GP and I had googled whooping cough. I couldn't breathe on a night, so bad I thought I would die so I wouldn't even go to sleep. I would sit up night after night on pillows to not sleep but would doze off and wake up choking with terrible stridor noise. The new GP said he would test with a blood test when I suggested it to him and thankfully he listened, and he rang up to tell me I was positive. I've never had anything like it in my life and everyone on here will know it's very hard to tell people how bad it is. The night times are horrendous and the awful burping of air after the fit is weird. Also clogging in the throat whilst drinking is something new as well I never did before. I do think that any cold we get will bring it back on again.

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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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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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