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Whooping cough in teens

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Introduction from Dr Doug Jenkinson

Symptoms (sounds and video)


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Who catches it

How do you catch it


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Sufferers' comments and experiences


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Whooping cough in teens is quite common. Symptoms are the same as at other ages except young babies who are different.
Severe attacks of uncontrolable coughing which develop after about 10 days of ordinary dry coughing are characteristic.
Whooping, a noise that sounds like a crowing and comes after an attack of coughing only happens in about half sufferers and even then only sometimes.
Vomiting may occur after an attack and sometimes a feeling of inability to breathe in again until some seconds have elapsed. It is frightening for the sufferer and the anyone watching. It can be exhausting and repeat several times. There is then usually a long period of up to hours before the cycle repeats. There is generally no feeling of illness between attacks and no fever. There may only be a few attacks per day, and sometimes just at night.
Teens may tend to play down the severity and just tolerate it without thinking it may be a disease process.
Most teens will have been immunised against whooping cough but it wears off after a few years.
Complications such as pneumonia are rare and whooping cough does not do any permanent damage. Attacks may be brought on by exertion or certain foods.
Asthmatics are more susceptible but it does not aggravate asthma.
Blood testing for whooping cough and treatment should be sought.
It can go on for three months but is more likely to only last two.
Please read the main symptoms page here for full information which also applies to teens.