Whooping cough or pertussis, as it is called in medical parlance, is a contagious disease. Unlike
some other diseases, a new born baby has no immunity to this disease, and can get it any time
after birth. It commonly affects infants during the first year of their life, when it is very severe and
most of the deaths due to it occur during this period. Many cases occur in children upto 5 years
of age. In some cases children upto 12 years may also be affected. The disease may cause
serious trouble in the lungs.
This highly infectious disease is caused by bacteria. It spreads rapidly from one child to another
by droplet-infection. This is especially so during the early catarrhal stage,but once the typical
spasmodic bout starts, the infectivity becomes negligible. This disease has a prolonged course
of 8 to 10 weeks.
The disease has a catarrhal and a spasmodic stage. For the first week, the cough is like an
ordinary upper respiratory catarrh. At the end of a week, it becomes spasmodic and comes in
bouts, initially more often during the night, but later during the day as well. The child goes on
coughing. His face becomes red and suffused, the tongue protrudes and the eyes begin to
water. At the end of the bout, the child takes a deep breath, and there is a prolonged croaking
sound which is called a whoop. This sound is produced by the air entering through a partially
closed glottis ( entrance to the larynx). This gives the disease its name. The child brings out a
sticky secretion from his nose and mouth and very often vomits. At the end of the bout, the child
lies back exhausted. Gradually, over the next three or four weeks, the bouts of cough and their
duration become less and disappear in about 8 to 10 weeks from the beginning of the disease.
In immunized children, the disease is mild and atypical.
Due to the severity of bouts of cough, bleeding can occur into the eyes, from the nose, the lung,
and , in rare cases, into the brain, resulting in convulsions. In many young children, lung
complications such as collapse of a part of the lung are common because of the thick sticky
nature of the secretions blocking the passage of air to a part of the lung. Secondary infection
may result in pneumonia. They may be convulsions, and, in rare cases, inflammation of the
Whooping cough is caused by the micro-organisms Bordetella pertussis and Bordetella
parapertussis. Of these, the first one gives the rise to more severe infections. Whooping cough
is also associated with various adinoviruses,para-influenza and respiratory viruses. The actual
cause of the disease, however, is wrong feeding of children with refined and deminralised foods
and absence of a sufficient quantity of fresh fruits and salad vegetables in their dietary. This
results in accumulation of excessive quantities of catarrh and mucus in the child’s system. The
disease is an attempt on the part of the nature to throw out this catarrh and mucus. The use of
drugs to treat other diseases can also lead to whooping cough.
What We Give For Cure Cough
In the beginning of the treatment, the child should be placed on a fast, on orange juice and water
for few days. He should be given the juice of an orange diluted with warm water on 50 : 50 basis.
He should not be given milk or anything else. He should be given warm water enema daily
during this period to cleanse the bowels. In case of constipation, a mild laxative, preferably
castor oil, should be administered. This will also relieve the pain in the abdominal muscles which
are usually strained during the paroxysms of coughing.
Take all treatments only under expert naturopathy doctor guidance and supervision.
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