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Is Whooping Cough Contagious?

November 10, 2011
whooping cough contagious

Is Whooping Cough Contagious?

The short answer is yes, whooping cough is contagious, very contagious in fact. That is the easy answer, but most people prefer some details (and rightly so), so a better question would be ‘why is whooping cough contagious’?

There is again a short answer for that – it is a bacteria and as such it is easily spread between people. This means that a whooping cough outbreak can spread quickly through any populous area such as a city or town.

whooping cough contagious

Is whooping cough contagious?

The reason it does so rarely is that these days many people are vaccinated against it (though the vaccination isn’t life long, but even after it the infection usually presents as a mild case). It tends to be more children who are yet to be vaccinated that get it, symptoms of whooping cough in adults are rare.

In children the symptoms of whooping cough are, as you might expected, a cough. But what makes it so distinctive (and where it gets it’s interesting name from) is the unique ‘whoop’ sound that tends to be made at the end of the cough.

Catching and Spreading Whooping Cough

So now we know whether whooping cough is contagious we should look at how you catch it, and how you can avoid catching it (or your children from doing so).

Once you have caught it incubation time is usually between 7 and 14 days. It presents at first with symptoms similar to a mild cold, such as a runny nose, temperatures, sneezing and the like. But it gets worse and after a week or so uncontrollable coughing takes place, often violent outbursts of coughing. The distinctive whoop comes as the person suffering tries to breathe in.

In young children and especially babies there can be a dangerous side effect of them choking on the mucus. With this in mind it is important to ALWAYS seek the advice of your Doctor as soon as you suspect you or a family member may have whooping cough.

How how to you avoid the very contagious whooping cough?

The best defence is to ensure that you don’t get it in the first place, so general hygiene is a good idea. But that will only minimise the risk by so much. Better then to build your immune system up so if the bacteria does get into your system you are able to fight it off.

There are a number of natural ways of building the immune system available. For example exercise is important, as is ensuring we have a healthy diet and drink plenty of water. If you are looking for supplements to buy to improve the immune system you have options there too.  Again it is important to see your Doctor if you are unwell or starting a new regime – especially with Whooping Cough as you may need antibiotics.

The most common (and usually thought of as the best) ‘alternative medicine’ options include:

  • Tart Cherry Juice.  Tart berry juice benefits include a dramatic increase in the power of antioxidants and immune system boosters for our body
  •  The Mullein Herb.  The Mullein herb has a huge number of health benefits associated with it, which is why it is known as one of the most powerful ‘healing herbs’ in existence.
  • Hyssop Herb.  The Hyssop Herb works wonders for airway complaints, and could well be a useful addition to anyone who is looking to fight off whooping cough.
But whatever you do, ensure your first port of call is the family doctor.  You don’t want to be taking risks with the health of you, or your family, over something as contagious as the whooping cough.
And one more time, the answer to ‘is the whooping cough contagious’ is a resounding – YES!

From → Illnesses

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