Whooping cough in adults: symptoms and treatment what tests and diagnostics

How to treat whooping cough in adults?

Infection pertussis continuously circulates in nature. Children’s bodies are more sensitive to the pathogen, but the isolated incidents diagnosed in the adult population. Pathology occurs classically with fits of coughing and other specific symptoms.

In publication the characteristic of the disease and the clinical form of manifestation, recommendations and how to treat whooping cough. Helpful information will achieve a high therapeutic result, without complications, to prevent re-infection.

A General definition of the term

What is pertussis? It is an acute infectious disease in which the pathogen attacks the nasopharynx, trachea and bronchi, destabilizie immune system. According to the International classification of diseases 10th revision pathology has code in ICD-10 A37.

Bordetella pertussis (or Board-Jango) is a bacterium that penetrates the body provokes paroxysmal cough, spasms of the respiratory system. Coli does not form spores, sensitive to the world around, therefore in the external environment is not viable.

A healthy person the agent is transmitted by the aerogenic way by direct contact with an obvious or asymptomatic carrier, and rarely using household items. Microbes saliva into the air and then move into the upper respiratory tract, localized to the mucosa.

For reference! The aggravation of the pathology falls on the warm period in July and August, and the peak incidence is in the late autumn to early winter.

If adults are sick with whooping cough and what is the likelihood of recurrence?

Outbreaks of disease among the population over the age of 18 increased. This explains the fact that after vaccination in childhood, the person refuses the re-grafting. Also the risk of infection increases with the decrease in the protective properties of the immune system, close contact with the carrier during the incubation period.

Is it possible to get whooping cough? Yes, and the third and fourth. After recovery the patient develops resistance to infection for a period of from 4 to 20 years. Coming at this time there is a threat of re-infection.

The negative impact Bordetella

The pathogen Bordetella pertussis produces toxic substances that poison the body, destabilisateur the respiratory center in the brain.

On the background of reducing the activity of the mucociliary apparatus, the blocking of pneumatic cavities deteriorates the blood supply to parts of Central nervous system, increases the concentration of carbon dioxide. Hypoxia (oxygen deprivation), which leads to degenerative changes in the tissues of the brain (encephalopathy).

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Complications of pertussis include the following manifestations:

  • atelectasis (partial unfolding or spadenie lung tissue, dangerous reduction of the respiratory space);
  • violation of the integrity of the vascular plexus;
  • conjunctivitis;
  • the AD that precedes the increase and enlargement of the right heart (pulmonary heart).

On the background of immunosuppression there is a threat of secondary infection, resulting in bronchitis, pneumonia.

How contagious is whooping cough?

The incubation period is different, its average length in the range of 7-20 days. Crucial importance is given to the etiology of the pathogen, immune status, the body’s reactions. Patient especially dangerous for surrounding the first 30 days.

In close contact with the carrier within 10 days from the moment of infection, the likelihood of the spread of whooping cough is 100%. With each subsequent week the risk drops to 30%, by the end of the fourth week is 10%.

Clinical manifestations

The first sign of infection with pertussis wand – paroxysmal cough that occurs on the background of intoxication by metabolic products of Bordetella pertussis.

Fact! Toxic substances stimulate the vagus nerve, which provide the functioning of the cardiovascular, digestive system, skeletal muscles, upper respiratory tract. In response to stimuli occurring defensive reaction – cough.

Typical symptoms of the disease include:

  • the increase in body temperature;
  • non-productive cough that is worse at night, for pathology becomes spasmodic character;
  • nasal bleeding;
  • common indicators of intoxication: headache, nausea, retching, weakness, malaise, loss of appetite;
  • redness of the eyes;
  • the increase in pressure;
  • fainting.

Whooping cough can be differentiated by yourself: it consists of 5-10 aftershocks that follow one after the other. Completes a series of forced exhalations whistling sound – Reprise caused by narrowing of the glottis.

Often the recovery period coincides with the second month of the disease: the cough is present but in reduced frequency and intensity, normalizes the General condition of the patient.

How to recognize the disease in practice?

The diagnosis of pertussis difficult to identical symptoms with a cold, before any Reprise. Therefore, pay attention to a lingering cough that intensifies at night.

Differentiation of the pathogen at the initial stage is carried out using bacteriological and microbiological method. From the surface of the oropharynx take a material that is sown on a nutrient microflora.

In the second period – spasmodic, simplify the diagnosis of typical clinical manifestations. In addition the doctor may prescribe a blood test for the detection of antibodies to Bordetella pertussis.
In the later stages of the disease often use PCR testing when the bacteriocarrier or pathology recognize specific sites of DNA of bacteria.

For reference! Bacteriological analysis of pertussis in a private clinic will cost from 800 to 1500 rubles, the identification of each of the immunoglobulin varies between 700 rubles, the blood test will cost 100-200 RUB, smear – up to 250 RUB.

Regimens of pertussis in adults

The method of recovery depends on severity and physiological characteristics of the patient. Mild forms of the disease are amenable to relief in the hospital setting, only medium and severe, require hospitalization.

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To achieve positive dynamics it is necessary to create favourable conditions:

  • to ensure bed rest, eliminate stress and emotional turmoil;
  • to control the optimal humidity in the apartment, it should be at 60-65%;
  • a systematic wet cleaning in the premises;
  • always ventilate the room;
  • discard fat and useless food. Focus on fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy products, low-fat meats. Sweet can fruits, jellies, marshmallows, coffee to replace green tea, freshly made juice. Eat often but in small portions. Last meal no later than 2 hours before bedtime;
  • should drink more water to normalize water balance;
  • more walk in the fresh air.

Antibiotics for whooping cough prescribe a short course of 7-10 days early. They do not stop the cough, but speed up the process of regression, the patient becomes non-contagious for the society.

In mild disease antibiotic therapy involves the use of drugs are the macrolides («Azithromycin», «Erythromycin», «Clarithromycin», «Roxithromycin»).

When moderate and severe lesions for the relief of inflammation in the bronchi to macrolides joined by means of cephalosporin: «Mucosolvan», «Bromhexine», «Pour».

With the aim of reducing agitation and affective tension long course of prescribed antipsychotics in regular dosage: «Chlorpromazine», «Reprisal», «Quantex».

The therapeutic effect at the initial stage of the disease have antihistamines («Pipolfen», «Zodak», «Suprastin»). For strengthening of medical effect clinicians in severe forms of infection, it is recommended to combine antihistamines with corticosteroids («Prednisolone»).

Important! To strengthen the immune system prescribe a course of vitamin, herbal adaptogens, probiotics, physiotherapy (the periodical hypobaric hypoxic stimulation, acupuncture).

Inhalation of whooping cough on the basis of means of influencing the processes of tissue exchange («Trypsin», «Hopsin») change the viscosity of sputum, which facilitates the breeding process. With distinct coughing recommended procedure drugs that improve cerebral blood circulation («Vinpocetine», «Pentoxifylline»).

Than to treat the infection in pregnant women?

Whooping cough during pregnancy dangerous for the child and the parent body. Frequent episodes of cough with moderate and severe form the lesions can cause fetal hypoxia, placental abruption, miscarriage in the early stages of gestation, premature labor in the 3rd trimester.

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To avoid complications, as a rule, the future mother receives treatment at a hospital under strict medical supervision. The doctor, based on severity of illness and period pregnant, picks up sparing pharmacotherapy of cough drugs, antibiotics, neuroleptics.

For the relief of cramps prescribed medicines antispasmodic action. Doctors focus on a course of vitamin therapy, proper and balanced diet, bed rest, a favorable microclimate in the premises.

For reference! Routine immunization against pertussis every 10 years.

Possible consequences

Whooping cough include severe infectious diseases, even when catarrhal stage, the recovery period may last several months. Until the discovery of the first antibiotic, often defeat the bacterium Bordetella pertussis ended in death.

With timely treatment for medical assistance and adequate treatment the outcome is usually favorable.

When running the possible serious complications:

  • violation of the integrity of the tympanic membrane;
  • suppurative process of the bronchi;
  • epileptic seizures;
  • change the functions of the brain and Central nervous system.

How dangerous whooping cough yet? Side results of pathology include inflammation of the Eustachian tube in the projection of the middle ear, pleural effusion, mediastinitis. The above manifestations threaten not only the health of the patient, but also his life.


The symptoms and treatment of pertussis in adults is often linked. Knowing the specifics of an infectious disease is possible to diagnose abnormalities at an early stage, which eliminates the need for complex treatment, reduces the rehabilitation period.

If you have impaired breathing, tormented by paroxysmal cough, muscle weakness – a reason to go to the doctor to confirm or deny the infection of Bordetella pertussis.