Whooping cough
Also known as pertussis, this is a feared infectious disease that can strike the respiratory system and affect other organs of the body. It has three stages—an initial stage with watery runny nose and eyes, a progressive cough stage with characteristic (sometimes severe) coughing spells, and (if the child survives) a recovery stage. The disease may last for 2-6 weeks. Therapy is supportive and many young infants need hospitalization if the coughing becomes severe. Immunization with DPT (diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus) vaccine provides protection. With pertussis, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure (or, if you are metrically inclined, a gram of prevention is worth a kilo of cure). Have your child immunized!

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whooping cough n an infectious disease esp. of children caused by a bacterium of the genus Bordetella (B. pertussis) and marked by a convulsive spasmodic cough sometimes followed by a crowing intake of breath called also pertussis

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an acute infectious disease, primarily of infants, caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis, which affects the respiratory tract. It often occurs in epidemics. After an incubation period of 1-2 weeks there is a catarrhal stage, in which the infant has signs of an upper respiratory-tract infection. A cough develops, which becomes increasingly severe and is accompanied by a whoop; the child can become exhausted and may stop breathing. This stage lasts 4-6 weeks. The most common complication is pneumonia, but bronchiectasis and convulsions due to asphyxia or bleeding into the brain tissue may also occur. Immunization offers protection and is usually given in the form of the DPT vaccine, although this should not be given if there is evidence of an evolving neurological problem. An attack usually confers lifelong immunity. Medical name: pertussis.

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pertussis.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Whooping cough — Whooping Whoop ing, a. & n. from {Whoop}, v. t. [1913 Webster] {Whooping cough} (Med.), a violent, convulsive cough, returning at longer or shorter intervals, and consisting of several expirations, followed by a sonorous inspiration, or whoop;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • whooping cough — ► NOUN ▪ a contagious bacterial disease chiefly affecting children, characterized by convulsive coughs followed by a whoop …   English terms dictionary

  • whooping cough — [ho͞o′piŋ, hwo͞o′piŋ; hoop′iŋ] n. an acute infectious disease, usually affecting children, caused by a bacillus (Bordetella pertussis) and characterized by a mucous discharge from the nose and later by repeated attacks of coughing that end in a… …   English World dictionary

  • whooping cough — /hooh ping, hoop ing/, Pathol. an infectious disease of the respiratory mucous membrane, caused by Bordetella pertussis, characterized by a series of short, convulsive coughs followed by a deep inspiration accompanied by a whooping sound. Also… …   Universalium

  • whooping cough — n. to catch (the) whooping cough * * * [ huːpɪŋkɒf] to catch (the) whooping cough …   Combinatory dictionary

  • whooping cough — an acute highly infectious disease usually caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis, primarily affecting infants and often occurring in epidemics. After an incubation period of 1–2 weeks there is a catarrhal stage, in which the infant has… …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • whooping cough — [[t]hu͟ːpɪŋ kɒf, AM kɔːf[/t]] N UNCOUNT Whooping cough is a serious infectious disease which causes people to cough and make a loud noise when they breathe in …   English dictionary

  • whooping cough — A serious bacterial infection of the lungs and breathing tubes that spreads easily. Whooping cough begins like a cold, but develops into severe coughing and gasping for air. Long spells of coughing may cause vomiting, and broken blood vessels in… …   English dictionary of cancer terms

  • whooping cough — whoop′ing cough [[t]ˈhu pɪŋ, ˈhʊp ɪŋ[/t]] n. pat an infectious disease of the respiratory mucous membrane caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis and characterized by a series of short, convulsive coughs followed by a whooping intake of… …   From formal English to slang

  • whooping cough — whoop|ing cough [ˈhu:pıŋ kɔf US ko:f] n [U] an infectious disease that especially affects children, and makes them cough and have difficulty breathing …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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