Whopping cough, or pertussis, is a very severe cough that can last for months. It’s caused by bacteria that infects the pharynx, the area where the nasal passages meets the throat. The bacteria bothers the throat, which causes the coughing. With whopping cough, it’s possible to cough hard enough that you actually hurt a rib.

Whopping cough  is an infectious disease that is easily spread to to others through any contact with fluid from the nose or mouth. Children (especially babies), elderly individuals, and those with compromised immune systems are especially susceptible.

Adults typically have milder symptoms than children, but it’s possible to contract whopping cough more than once during a lifetime. Symptoms usually last 6 to 10 weeks. Typically, people recover from the disease with no problems. Untreated, however, symptoms can lead to more complications, like pneumonia.

Your OrlandoENT doctor will do a physical exam to determine if you have whopping cough. He or she may take a sample of mucus from your nose and throat and have it tested for evidence of the bacteria that causes whopping cough.

Treatment includes antibiotics. Over-the-counter medications like cough syrup have been shown to have little or no effect on whopping cough. A humidifier may be used, especially at night though, to reduce discomfort caused by coughing.

And infant or elderly person should seek medical attention at a hospital for whopping cough. Vaccinations have been shown effective for stopping the spread of the disease to others.

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