Infant girl with whooping cough
Whooping Cough Treatment
Early treatment is very important for .
are often given to treat the infection, and if given before coughing attacks begin, they can make your infection less severe and keep you from spreading the disease.
If treatment is given after having the illness for three weeks, it most likely won't help.
This is because the bacteria has already done its damage and left your body, even though you may still have symptoms.
In addition, over-the-counter (OTC) cough medicines will not help alleviate symptoms and should not be taken.
Antibiotics for Whooping Cough
Several different antibiotics are used to kill the bacteria that cause whooping cough, and to help quicken your recovery.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these include:
Talk to your doctor about which medication is best for you or your child. Family members may also need to take preventative antibiotics.
Antibiotics for Infants
For infants one month of age or older, erythromycin, clarithromycin, and azithromycin are the preferred treatments for whooping cough.
For infants younger than one month, azithromycin is the preferred treatment due to an increased for infantile hypertrophic pyloric stenosis (IHPS) associated with erythromycin.
For infants two months of age and older, Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole trimethoprim) can be used as an alternative treatment.
Hospitalization for Children
Because infants and toddlers may not be fully vaccinated against whooping cough, they can experience serious and life-threatening complications that require hospitalization since the coughing spells can make it difficult to eat, drink, or breathe.
In fact, about half of infants who get whooping cough before their first birthday are hospitalized, according to the CDC.
While in the hospital, your child may receive the following care:
- Suctioning of thick respiratory secretions in order to keep breathing passages clear
- Monitoring of breathing and administering of oxygen, if needed
- Intravenous fluids, if your child can't keep down liquids or food
Also, note that your child may be isolated from other people to prevent the infection from spreading, because whooping cough is highly contagious.
Whooping Cough Home Remedies
In addition to prescription medications, you can take the following precautions for yourself or your loved ones:
- Keep your home clean
- Stay hydrated
- Eat small, frequent meals
- Sleep in a cool, quiet, and dark room
- Wash your hands frequently
Keeping your home free of smoke, dust, and chemical fumes that may cause coughing can help relieve whooping cough symptoms.
In addition, using a clean, cool mist vaporizer can help loosen secretions and soothe the cough.
Drink lots of fluids, including water, juices, and soups, and eat fruits to prevent dehydration.
Signs of dehydration include:
- Dry, sticky mouth
- Sleepiness or tiredness
- Decreased urination
- Muscle weakness
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
Dehydration in children includes:
- Frequent dry diapers
- Crying with little or no tears
- Dry lips
Eating small, frequent meals can help prevent vomiting, a common symptom of whooping cough.
Sleeping in a cool, quiet, and dark room can help you relax. Rest can relieve the symptoms of whooping cough.
Finally, washing your hands frequently, covering your mouth, or wearing a mask to keep from spreading whooping cough to others.
Video: 5 Things You Should Know About Whooping Cough
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