Tag Archive | "whooping cough"

What Communicable Illnesses Concern You The Most

Communicable diseases are undeniably deceptive and especially exploitative of children. The transfer of minute microorganisms from one child to another through mucus, saliva, blood and other human wastes is always a possibility. Clearly, anything that is touched by a child from door knobs to play ground facilities can be a source of illnesses that are considered communicable.

Hence, it is important for parents to be aware of these ailments and to take an active role to curb any possible problem that may arise. A simple cold may become more serious like the dreaded pneumonia or bronchitis. Precautionary measures should be made to prevent complications arising from these communicable illnesses.

The most common communicable disease is the common colds. Even if it has gained the moniker, common, parents should be forewarned that such condition if not given prompt care and attention could lead to more serious conditions and even possible fatality. Diseases like sinus and ear infections, asthma and bronchitis are but some of the complications. As it is a viral infection, the illness can be passed from one vulnerable child to the other.

Additionally, gastroenteritis or stomach flu should also worry you. The disease could be bacterial or viral in nature. It can last for up to ten days depending on the severity of the ailment. A human can get it by contact like when foods and drinks are shared and when the utensils used are contaminated. Although it may be considered harmless and self-limiting amongst adults, a child suffering from gastroenteritis easily gets dehydrated and may even suffer from malabsorption of lactose that will necessitate medical treatment.

Another communicable ailment commonly experienced by children is strep throat. This is an illness specifically caused by Group A streptococci bacteria which usually happens during the school year as it is easily passed from one child to another during episodes of sneezing and coughing. Even with just a simple handshake or just clasping of hands, acts which kids especially love to do, the bacteria can simply transfer. A child will surely undergo antibiotic treatment; that is why, if your child suffers from fever, difficulty in swallowing and enlarged lymph nodes, consult your pediatrician. Rheumatic fever and retropharyngeal abscesses, abscess formation in deep tissues are life-threatening conditions that should be avoided by parents.

Pink eye or conjunctivitis also takes a significant spot in the list; the ailment can also be bacterial or viral in nature although, it can also be caused by an allergy. Such inflammation can be easily acquired not because of staring at someone with the condition but because of person-to-person contact through contaminated objects and even water. In order to prevent the disease, children must be taught to wash hands frequently and to avoid touching the eyes especially if the hands are dirty. As for parents with children suffering from conjunctivitis, it is better for the child affected not to attend classes.

Finally, an ailment that has relatively hibernated for a long time but has nonetheless reappeared in the past few months is whooping cough. Whooping cough was a disease thought to be curbed by healthcare professionals because of the introduction of vaccines. However, an outbreak still happened and cases of death were recorded; for this reason, a high-pitched uncontrollable cough should signal you to call your doctor.

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The Woes of Whooping Cough

It is a common occurrence for every child to experience an occasional cough once in a while. Every child has tried having cough at some point in their lives. This is all normal, since the world we live in has various microorganisms that can either benefit or harm our bodies. The bacterium that causes cough is one of those microorganisms. Whooping Cough also referred to as Pertussis is a highly communicable or contagious disease that is caused by the bacteria called Bordetella Pertussis. Whooping cough usually lasts for 6 weeks before the body heals from the disease.

 What are the signs and symptoms of Pertussis? During the 7th to 10th day of the infection, called the incubation stage, the child or infant may manifest signs of mild respiratory infection including mild coughing, runny nose and sneezing. A week or two after, the child’s cough may become worse, uncontrollable and forceful; a high-pitched “whoop” sound may even accompany the cough. During this time since the condition is getting worse, the child may find it difficult to breath. After the 2nd week, if the condition is left untreated and is worsened, the child may experience vomiting, malnutrition, and round the clock severe coughing. Complications of this disease include pneumonia, encephalopathy and seizures. For newborns, pertussis infection is very dangerous and may become fatal.

Pertussis is very contagious and the means of disease transmission is through air and droplets. Sometimes, this disease can only be diagnosed when the appropriate symptoms are manifested. Whooping cough can also be diagnosed using a bacterial culture and sensitivity from a specimen collected from the child’s nasopharyngeal cavity or sputum. Some Doctors would also order chest x-rays and blood tests to confirm the diagnosis. This disease pose a great threat to babies and children, and because of that, they are encouraged to be vaccinated against it. The Pertussis vaccine is very effective in preventing the disease, the immunity lasts for a few years, and in some cases, it could last through out the entire childhood, which is very important, since this is the time he’s very vulnerable to the disease. The Pertussis vaccine given to children is commonly incorporated with another vaccine which protects against tetanus, this vaccine is called DTap. This vaccine is normally given 3 times during infancy and 2 more times when the child is 4 to 6 years old. The shots are divided accordingly to ensure adequate protection.

 As common as whooping cough seems, it is still a major disease which causes major complications such as pneumonia, ear infection, loss of appetite, sleep disturbance, loss of consciousness, dehydration, malnutrition, seizures, and certain forms of brain and breathing disorders. Whooping cough is also very life-threatening, that is why it is very important for every child to be vaccinated against this killer disease. As cliché as is sounds, for Pertussis, prevention is still better than cure. So for children, who’s generally at risk, it is essential for them to always practice a healthy lifestyle and do activities that promote well-being.

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