Whooping cough: Causes, symptoms, complications and treatment

The article was consulted professionally by Specialist Doctor II Le Thanh Cam – Department of Pediatrics – Newborn, Share99 Da Nang International Health Hub.

Whooping cough is an acute infectious disease capable of spreading rapidly through the respiratory tract, which can be encountered at any age but most often and most dangerously infants. Learn to proactively detect and treat diseases early to avoid complications and how to prevent diseases effectively.

1. What are the causes of whooping cough?

Whooping cough is an infectious disease caused by whooping cough bacteria scientifically named Bordetella pertussis.

Transmission route: Mainly through the respiratory tract or in direct contact with saliva when a person infected with bacteria talks or comes into contact with an object infected with the respiratory secretion of the person suffering from the disease.

Who is at risk for whooping cough: The disease appears at any age, however more than 90% of cases are uns vaccinated children under 1 year of age or not yet fully vaccinated with 3 basic shots. The smaller the child, the worse the disease and the more complications.

2. Manifestations of whooping cough in babies

Whooping cough in a child progresses through the following stages:

  • Incubation period lasts from 6-20 days (on average about 9-10 days): This period is asymptoatic
  • Stage of respiratory long-term inflammation: Lasting about 1-2 weeks, symptoms appear similar to upper respiratory tract inflammatory diseases including mild fever, runny nose, coughing, sneezing at the end of this period of severe coughing into a bout
  • On-top stage: Lasting from 1-6 weeks, there are special cases that can last more than 10 weeks with typical cough manifestations such as:
  • Cough: The child coughs, into each attack, every 15-20 hours of coughing in a row, the weaker and less. In children, coughing attacks appear many weaken children such as apnea due to lack of oxygen, purple face, red face, floating cervical veins, runny nose tears.

Whooping cough: Causes, symptoms, complications and treatment

Coughing attacks appear more weakening children such as stopping breathing due to lack of oxygen
  • Hissing in: Appears at the end of each cough or alternates after each cough, hissing sounds like a chicken. Children under 6 months of age may not see hissing during coughing attacks.
  • End the cough with white, sputum, pure color, sticky. In phlegm there is whooping cough bacteria that are also a source of infection.
  • During the first 2 weeks of this period, the frequency of coughing attacks is about 15 times per day. Then a gradual decrease can last more than 3 weeks if not treated.
  • After each cough the child is tired, may vomit, breathe quickly. May be accompanied by the following symptoms: Mild fever, severe face and eyelids.
  • Recovery stage: Less coughing, fever-lowering patients. However, months of coughing can cause pneumonia again.

Manifestations of the disease in adults and adolescents are usually mild, less likely to have a typical cough or asymptom, usually after 7 days.

3. Complications of whooping cough

Complications of dangerous whooping cough usually occur in young children. Complications include:

  • Bronchitis, bronchopneumonia caused by multiple infections.
  • Prolonged cough and apnea are the most common, easily fatal complications, especially for children under 1 year of age.
  • Coughing many patients can cause intestinal cages, intestinal hernias, rectal sassing.
  • Severe cases can cause alveolar rupture, mediasth mediase gas spillage or pneumothorax.
  • Also complications of encephalitis (accounting for 0.1%) is a serious complications of whooping cough, a high rate of leave of death and a high risk of death.

4. Treatment of whooping cough

Treatment of the cause: Use antibiotics before the coughing attack appears. Especially for children under 6 months of early treatment as soon as the first sign is seen is very important.

Symptomatic treatment:In some severe cases, children may appear seizures that can take anti-seizure drugs such as phenobarbital, seduxen …

Combined nutrition for children: due tocoughing many children may vomit, so after vomiting can feed the child. Adequate supplementation of nutrients for the child.

5. Prevention of whooping cough

Patients should be detected and treated promptly to avoid spreading to the community, especially spreading whooping cough to babies and young children.

Full vaccination according to the vaccination schedule is the most effective method of prevention.

Whooping cough: Causes, symptoms, complications and treatment

Whooping cough vaccination is the most effective prevention method

Share99 International Health Hub provides a full range of vaccination services for children, examination and treatment of whooping cough with many advantages:

  • Children who are vaccinated against whooping cough in the same 5-in-1 injection include: diphtheria – whooping cough – tetanus – hepatitis B – Hib (DPT-VGB-Hib). Fully injected 3 times.
  • With a team of pediatricians and infectious specialists, patients with whooping cough are examined, classified and treated in accordance with the treatment regimen.
  • Patients who come to the examination and treatment are fully consulted about the disease and appropriate nutrition.

Whooping cough is a dangerous infectious disease with many serious complications especially whooping cough in babies and young children. The disease should be detected early to avoid serious complications of the disease. Proactively vaccinate against whooping cough to avoid diseases affecting your health.

For direct advice, please click hotline number or register online HERE. In addition, you can register for remote consultation HERE

Source: Department of Health Prevention – Ministry of Health


  • What bacteria cause whooping cough?
  • Distinguish pneumonia, cough often from whooping cough in a child
  • Recognition of whooping cough in toddlers

Giới thiệu: Bo Yong

I'm the founder and owner of Thank Your Eyes. I have been nearsighted since I was a child, so I had eye surgery with LASIK method but it was damaged so I had to undergo additional surgery. Fortunately, this time my eyes were clear again. With this blog, I want to share my experiences with anyone who is having eye problems and wants to have healthy eyes.

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