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Symptoms of whooping cough

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 1992
Answered : 621 Questions
HI. My son's high school sent a notice home yesterday saying there have been instances of whooping cough and to watch for any signs of cold symptoms. Our son has had a mild sore throat and lower body temperature since yesterday. His throat hurt quite a bit this morning but is a little better. Body Temp is 97.5. Should we take him to a clinic or wait and see?
Posted Tue, 18 Feb 2014 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Behar Greca 1 hour later
Brief Answer: You should take him to a clinic... Detailed Answer: Hi, thank you for posting. If in your son's school there are cases with whooping cough, you shouldn't allow your son to go in school for a few days. In general the main symptom of pertussis(whooping cough) is cough that lasts for a few weeks, that is loud and in bark form, followed by difficulty in breathing. (This symptom will show up if you son is not vaccinated). If your son is vaccinated the symptoms are light. However you should take him to a clinic and contact an infectologist. For any doubts ask me. Dr. Behar.
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Follow-up: Symptoms of whooping cough 5 hours later
I was planning on keeping him home from school on Monday and taking him to a doctor then. His sore throat feels better and is almost gone and his body temp is up to 98.3. He says he still feels a little sick but better than this morning. I'm wondering if it is just coincidental, however, I'll still have him checked out. Would it be a bad idea to wait until Monday, seeing how his symptoms are so mild? Also, is it true that if pertussis is caught in the very early stages, antibiotics can kill the bacteria and you can avoid the worst coughing stage? How early can they test for the bacteria? And how do they test for it?
Answered by Dr. Behar Greca 5 hours later
Brief Answer: Diagnosis criteria Detailed Answer: Hello In order to diagnose properly pertussis, it needs to be done a blood test and leukocyte formula. If it really is pertussis, leukocytes will be 100 000 per ml and lymphocytes 70-90%. It is also necessary to do a X-Ray for the lungs. If all of the three tests are negative, then pertussis is disqualified. Pertussis can be cured with antibiotics and specific gamma globulins, which shorten the disease time and minimize the symptoms. I advise you to consult the infectologist. Hope this helps. For every question, feel free to ask. Be safe. Dr. Behar.
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