Pertussis or commonly known by some as “whooping cough” is a type of bacterial infection that affects the respiratory system. This condition is primarily caused by a bacterium call Bordatella pertussis. This infection can attack anyone no matter what their age or sex is. However, the symptoms of this disease usually also varies on the age of the person affected. That is why identifying these symptoms is considered necessary in order to provide immediate action and intervention. Here are some of the symptoms of pertussis in adults.
Pertussis or whooping cough is commonly characterized by severe coughing spells or bout that usually ends with a “whooping” sound upon inspiration. This symptom is what usually makes pertussis distinct from any other respiratory infections. Most symptoms of whooping cough can last for weeks and can go as long as for months. This is the reason why pertussis is also termed as the “100-day cough” because of its long duration as well as severity. Although this infection can occur to anyone, most deaths from this condition usually happen among infants and young children. Because of this, pertussis is usually associated with infant or pediatric diseases. Nevertheless, this condition can still very well affect adolescents and adults. In fact, recent reports about pertussis have shown that more than half of the examined cases of this infection are among adults and teenagers. This is probably due to the lack of recognition and identification of the disease among adult patients.
Symptoms of whooping cough in adults usually differ of that of infants and children. In most cases, adults usually experience milder symptoms compared to the younger victims of pertussis. Other adults may even exhibit no symptoms at all of the disease. However, even though some adults are asymptomatic, they are still capable of transferring the disease to another person, especially those that are unimmunized. This is also linked to the fact that adults are usually the first cases of the infection in a household or group of people with multiple cases of pertussis.
Pertussis is also known to have three stages, namely catarrhal, paroxysmal and convalescent stage. Each stage carries different signs and symptoms. Catarrhal is the initial stage of pertussis that usually lasts from 1 to 2 weeks. During this time frame, patients may experience symptoms such as runny nose, low grade fever and mild occasional coughs. This, however, is the stage where the infected is considered to be highly contagious. The next stage is the paroxysmal stage. This may go on from 1 to 6 weeks or even 10, depending on the severity of the condition. Paroxysmal stage exhibits symptoms such as fits of numerous and rapid coughs that is ended with a whooping sound, vomiting and exhaustion. Stage 3, on the other hand is called convalescent stage. In this period, recovery is already gradual. Coughing is also lessened; however, fits of coughing is still possible to return. This stage usually last from 2 to 3 weeks.
These are just some of the important facts and details about the infection pertussis. Now that we are knowledgeable about the different symptoms of pertussis among adults, it will already be a lot easier for us to identify and treat the situation immediately.