Whooping cough is characterized by intense fits of coughing punctuated by “whooping” sounds that patients make in between coughs. The coughing fits can last for minutes at a time. If the coughing fits are left untreated, they can lead to suffocation and other problems.
Whooping cough is much more than your everyday cough. In fact, it can be fatal. The condition most often affects young children and babies, and it can be particularly dangerous to them. Since their immune systems are not fully developed, younger children are much more likely to develop serious complications from the illness.
Whooping cough can be difficult to diagnose and treat, and it hasn’t been eliminated despite improvements in modern medicine 1. Below are some of the most common symptoms of the condition. If you think you or your children have whooping cough, you should seek medical help.
Symptom #1: Whooping
Whooping is the sound that an individual makes when inhaling in between coughs. It is the first thing that indicates someone has whooping cough instead of just a regular cough. The whooping sound occurs because the lungs are so exhausted from the coughing fits that they’re unable to breathe normally.
The vocal cords and bronchial airways are also overtaxed and exhausted. The whooping itself sounds like a mixture of squeaky wheezing and deep breathing.