Pertussis: Whooping Cough

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Pertussis I chose to do my report on pertussis, also known as whooping cough. I chose this topic because it is something that I had to personally deal with when my oldest daughter, now 16, was infected with the disease at age 6 months. At that point in time I did not know a lot about pertussis, I simply thought of it as a bad cough/cold, until I took her in to the doctors office. It is quite interesting to learn more on the cause of this microbial disease. Pertussis is a respiratory disease that is caused by a bacterial infection. The bacteria that is responsible for the infection is known as Bordetella pertussis or Bordetella parapertussis. Pertussis is a very highly contagious disease, and can be deadly for some, especially those not vaccinated against it. Another name for pertussis is whooping cough. It is known as whooping cough because of the coughing fits associated with the disease. Let’s take a closer look at the signs and symptoms associated with pertussis.…show more content…
Physicians may be able to diagnose a patient by simply doing a physical examination and listening to one’s cough, or they may do laboratory testing to look for presence of the disease causing bacteria. Some laboratory test that they may do include swabbing of the throat, a chest x-ray. and/or blood tests. The swabbing of the throat will allow them to culture the bacteria that is present within the throat to see if there is Bordetella pertussis/Bordetella parapertussis present. A chest x-ray would show if there is any inflammation/swelling with the lungs which is a result of the toxin release from the bacteria. And lastly, a blood test can be done to show if an infection is present by looking at the white blood cell count.. If the white blood cell count is elevated it suggests that there is an infection present in the body. A blood test can also show if there are antibodies present, which would suggest that the antigen is also

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