Whooping Cough

Discussion created by Troutnut1 on Feb 27, 2020
Latest reply on Mar 3, 2020 by Gai.C

Mrs. Troutnut and I were recently exposed to and acquired pertussis (aka Whooping Cough). This is one of the least things smokers, or former smokers want. Lasting 12 weeks, it starts with 7-10 days of incubation, then 6 weeks of severe coughing (sometimes hard enough to break ribs, cause hernias, cause vomiting, or even passing out), and then a recovery phase where it slowly gets better. For people like me with emphysema from past smoking, this can be really bad.


Luckily, I had Tdap vaccinations in 2012 and 2017 and they are supposed to last 10 years. So I have a milder version. Mrs. Troutnut had a Tdap vacinne in 2012 and so still has some protection, but it is pretty bad for her. This bacterial infection was almost wiped out, but it is making a big comeback because people have gotten lazy about getting the booster shots (tdap) at least every 10 years. And, more and more people are not having their children vaccinated which causes outbreaks in schools and communities. The vaccine is know to “wane”, or get less effective, with each year so I would think one would want one nowadays more often than once every ten years. This is an easy and cheap procedure at many pharmacies or doctors offices. A few minutes getting this taken care of could save you 12 weeks (3 months!) of horrible coughing.


Mrs. Troutnut and I were also lucky that we got to a clinic in the first few days and got powerful antibiotics right away. This bacteria is highly contagious until after treatment is completed (usually 5 days of antibiotics) or getting a negative test result. Most people wait until they have been coughing for weeks, and by three weeks antibiotics are no longer effective. If you acquire a cough, especially with a fever, and flu or cold like symptoms, ask you doctor to consider pertussis. There is a simple nose swab test that can be done. 


If you don’t have it, you don’t want it. Get a tdap booster at your first chance.


Your friend in Montana