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Whooping cough, childhood disease in adults - symptoms and treatment

Contrary to the fact that the disease is considered a purely childhood infectious disease, whooping cough in adults is not uncommon and is occasionally found in clinical practice. Its manifestation is acute, cyclical, with characteristic specific symptoms.

The disease is caused by the wand Bordet-Zhang of the genus (Bordetell) Bordetell. Getting on the mucous membrane of the respiratory system of a person causes the development of inflammatory processes that provoke an increased secretion of mucus, while suppressing the activity and functions of the ciliated epithelium of the mucous tissue, contributing to the formation of necrosis on it.

Pathology actively develops in bronchial tissues, affecting the upper respiratory tract. The body develops an increased sensitivity (sensitization) to the pathogen toxins caused by irritation of the receptors of the mucous layer of the respiratory system, manifested by paroxysmal convulsive cough - such symptoms of whooping cough in adults and children are the "calling card" of the disease.

Infection occurs by direct contact of a person with a patient or carrier of infection, that is, by contact and aerosol. A simple sneeze or cough at a distance of 1-2 meters can transfer the infection from the patient to the healthy. The peak of virulence (contagion) of the bacterium falls on the first seven days of the illness and the last days of the latent period.

It is during this time period that the diseased should be isolated. Most of all, patients with unclear expressive symptoms are dangerous.

The first signs of whooping cough can appear in a week or one and a half, after the moment of infection. The course of the disease is due to three stages of development - catarrhal (initial), paroxysmal (spasmodic) and the stage of resolution (reverse development).


Symptoms and signs of whooping cough in adults

Symptoms and signs of whooping cough in adults

With the first symptoms of whooping cough in adults, the initial stage of the disease begins - the catarrhal stage.

The main symptom of the disease at this stage is manifested by constant dry cough, which is not stopped by any medication. Symptomatology is very similar to the clinic ORZ:

  • feverish condition with very high temperature;
  • general weakness and loss of appetite;
  • runny nose, cough and tearing.

Because of this, the treatment of whooping cough adults often begin independently, being guided by compliance with catarrhal pathologies - as a rule, it does not bring relief.

The period of the paroxysmal (spasmodic) stage is the most difficult, accompanied by impaired respiratory functions. Cough worse, suffocating. At the same time, thick viscous mucus and whistling sounds are released. Attacks can occur up to 50 times a day. The patient has a red face, develops cervical lymphadenitis. In his zone is marked cyanosis of the skin.

Often, during coughing attacks, unpleasant moments can occur with spontaneous urination and defecation. If during this period you do not undergo the appropriate examination and treatment of whooping cough, the symptoms may be supplemented:

  • cramps in the whole body;
  • neurogenic fainting;
  • meningeal symptoms;
  • disorders of cerebral circulation.

Stage resolution (reverse development) - the final stage of the disease. The state of health improves, breathing returns to normal, coughing worries are becoming less and less common. The patient is recovering.

With adequate timely treatment, the total duration of whooping cough in an adult does not exceed one and a half, two months.

What is dangerous disease for adults?

first signs of whooping cough in adults

first signs of whooping cough in adults (photo), they are similar to the common cold

The greatest danger in whooping cough in adults is the development of complications with possible pathological processes in the form of:

  • acute inflammatory processes in the lungs;
  • involvement in the inflammatory process of bronchial tissue;
  • development of pleural effusion and emphysema;
  • purulent inflammatory processes in the structure of the middle ear.

Sometimes, the effects of whooping cough are manifested by atelectasis of the lung, frequent coughing episodes can trigger:

  • hyposphagm - conjunctival haemorrhage;
  • hernial umbilical and inguinal protrusions;
  • perforation (hole or tear) in the eardrum;
  • rectal prolapse ( prolapse of the intestine ).

When another diagnosis is added to the main pathology, it means a complication of the disease, in this case whooping cough. Infections are susceptible to even previously vaccinated people.

In this case, the disease can take place at an accelerated rate, without a cough reflex, without any external signs and characteristic symptoms. To diagnose the disease in this case, it is possible only by identifying antibodies of the class "M" in the blood - (IgM).

Pertussis Diagnosis

Thanks to a multitude of modern diagnostic methods, today clinicians have every opportunity to detect this infection at any stage of its course. Tests for whooping cough are carried out by methods:

  1. Bacteriological examination (seeding) of mucus taken from the mucosa of the oropharynx.
  2. Reaction tests of PHA, PHA and RA are serological methods used in the detection of the pathogen in the later stages of the disease.
  3. ELISA assay - enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay detecting bacterial antibodies in the early (IgM) stage of the disease and in the late - (IgG)
  4. Express diagnostics - RNIF method, which allows to detect the antibody and confirm the pathology after two hours. At the same time having a differentiated diagnosis with similar pathologies. And the LMA method, which determines the disease within half an hour.
  5. Molecular and hematological studies.

Treatment and prevention of whooping cough

Pertussis treatment In the treatment of pertussis in adults, a standard therapeutic regimen is applied, including:

  1. Etiotropic therapy - in the first week of the disease, penicillin group drugs are prescribed, it can be Amoxiclav or Flemoklav. In the next four days, macrolide antibiotic drugs - Erythromycin, Macropene or Azithromycin, Rulid, Klabax or their analogs are connected. Treatment of whooping cough with antibiotics after 10 days is impractical. Their purpose is justified only with purulent complications.
  2. With pronounced processes of respiratory failure, pulmonary edema, cerebrovascular insufficiency, drip intravenous administration of aminophylline solution is prescribed.
  3. Anxiolytics in the form of Seduxen, Relanium, or Sibazone are prescribed for severe coughing attacks.
  4. Gluclic corticoid drugs (Prednisone) and diuretics (Lasix) are prescribed for pulmonary edema.
  5. Oxygen therapy (oxygen therapy) is very effective (artificial ventilation, or in special wards).

In the absence of temperature, at any time of the year, patients are recommended to walk on the air for at least an hour. Food should be frequent, fractional and fortified.

Preventive measures

The main preventive measure is the timeliness of vaccination. The vaccine has been protecting people from whooping cough for fifteen years. Then it needs to be done again. Immunity to the pathogen persists in the body throughout life.

Even if an infected patient is infected, the disease will be milder. Only strong immune defenses can prevent reinfection. For this, it is necessary to strengthen it in every way.


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