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whooping cough

What You Need to Know About Whooping Cough: A Guide for Parents

When it comes to the health and well-being of your children, staying informed about potential health threats is crucial. With the recent rise in cases of whooping cough, a highly contagious respiratory disease that can have severe consequences for young children, it’s important to be in-the-know with the signs and how to prevent it.

In this post, we’ll delve into everything you need to know about whooping cough, from its signs and symptoms to prevention and treatment. At Linbury Doctors, we’re committed to helping you safeguard your family’s health.

whooping cough

Introduction to Whooping Cough

Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is a bacterial infection. This disease is particularly dangerous for infants and young children. Early detection and timely intervention can make a significant difference in outcomes. Here at Linbury Doctors, we provide the expertise and care necessary to navigate this complex health issue.

Signs and Symptoms

Early Signs

  • Runny Nose
  • Mild Fever
  • Cough

Signs as it Progresses

  • Severe Coughing Fits
  • Whooping Sound as the child breathes in
  • Vomiting
  • Exhaustion

Unique Symptoms in Infants and Toddlers

  • Apnoea: Pauses in breathing
  • Cyanosis: A blue or purplish tint to the skin due to lack of oxygen.
  • Feeding Difficulties: Trouble breastfeeding or taking a bottle.

Causes and Transmission

How It Spreads

Whooping cough is highly contagious and spreads through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Close contact with an infected person increases the risk of transmission.

Minimising Risk

  • Good Hygiene: Regular handwashing and covering mouths when coughing or sneezing can reduce the risk of transmission.
  • Isolation: Keeping infected individuals away from others can prevent the spread.


Importance of Vaccination

The pertussis vaccine is part of the DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis) immunisation series for children. This vaccine is administered in multiple doses, starting at two months of age.

Whooping cough vaccines are very effective, but not don’t give 100% cover from contracting it. The infection is usually less severe for people who have been vaccinated against whooping cough, but they can still become unwell. In vaccinated people who get whooping cough the cough doesn’t normally last as long.

Please contact your GP to discuss vaccinations.

whooping cough vaccination

Treatment and Management of Whooping Cough

If your child contracts whooping cough, timely medical intervention is critical.


Whooping cough is diagnosed through a combination of clinical evaluation and laboratory tests, including:

  • Nasopharyngeal Swab: A sample taken from the back of the nose and throat.

Supportive Care

  • Hydration: Ensuring your child drinks plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
  • Humidified Air: Using a humidifier to keep the air moist and ease breathing.
  • Rest: Ample rest to help the body recover.


Antibiotics are prescribed to kill the bacteria and prevent the spread of the disease. While they may not alleviate symptoms immediately, they are crucial in reducing the infectious period.

Contact Linbury Doctors

Whooping cough is a serious illness, but with the right knowledge and preventive measures, you can protect your child from its potentially severe consequences. At Linbury Doctors, we provide top-notch care and support to ensure your family’s health and well-being. Don’t wait – schedule an appointment or vaccination today to safeguard your child’s future.

For more information or to book an appointment, contact your GP or Linbury Doctors’ practice line directly on 0333 050 7338. Not a member? Find out more about our packages here:

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