Pertussis is caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis and is highly contagious. without treatment, it can last up to 6 weeks before subsiding. The incubation period is between seven and ten days in infants or young children. The first symptoms may be ignored or mis-diagnosed as they are similar to a common cold (sore throat, mild coughing, sneezing or runny nose). These symptoms can continue for up to two weeks before the paroxysmal cough, inspiratory whoop, and post coughing vomiting starts.
The risks and complications of Pertussis are subconjunctival hemorrhages, rib fractures, urinary incontinence, hernias, post cough syncope, vertebral artery dissection, broncho-pneumonia and infection of the inner ear. In severe cases, convulsions may occur.
Infants and young children are usually hospitalized in order to prevent dehydration and quiet the patient with prescription sedatives. They are kept isolated to prevent the infection from spreading to others. Older children and adults can remain at home and are usually prescribed antibotics to kill the infection. Unfortunately cough medicines have little effect on whooping cough.
There are some natural remedies that are time tested and honored among those in the natural health community.
Colloidal silver is known to attack any aerobic pathogen. It surrounds the pathogen and smothers it.
Garlic- prepare garlic juice and administer 1 tablespoon twice a day. Not recommended for children as they may fight against the taste.
Honey- take one glass of boiled water and add 1 tablespoon of honey. Administer four times a day.
Ginger, Fenugreek and Honey- boil one tablespoon of fenugreek and one tablespoon freshly grated ginger in two cups water. Add one teaspoon of honey. Drink one cup twice a day.
Calamus and Honey- mix a pinch of calamus powder with one teaspoon honey and administer twice a day.
Note: Honey is not generally recommended for children under two years of age. Honey is anti-bacterial and adds an extra measure of healing, but for children, raw sugar or pure maple syrup may be used to sweeten an otherwise herbal mixture.
Don’t ignore those symptoms of a common cold. They may be the initial signs of whooping cough, which has been known to be fatal to infants and young children.