If you think you or your child has whooping cough, make an appointment with your family doctor or pediatrician. Severe symptoms may warrant a visit to an urgent care center or a hospital's emergency department.
What you can do
You may want to write a list that includes:
- Detailed descriptions of the signs and symptoms
- Information about past medical problems
- Dates of immunizations
- Information about the medical problems of parents or siblings
- Questions you want to ask the doctor
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor will conduct a physical exam and will use a stethoscope to listen closely to your lungs. Questions your doctor may ask include:
Jan. 15, 2015
- When did the cough start?
- How long does a coughing spell generally last?
- Does anything trigger the cough?
- Does the cough ever cause gagging or vomiting?
- Has the cough ever resulted in a red or blue face?
- Have you been exposed to anyone with whooping cough?
- Pertussis frequently asked questions. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/about/faqs.html. Accessed Dec. 23, 2014.
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/book.aspx?bookid=331. Accessed Dec. 23, 2014.
- Cornia P, et al. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of Bordetella pertussis infections in adolescents and adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 23, 2014.
- Jakinovich A, et al. Pertussis: Still a cause of death, seven decades into vaccination. Current Opinion in Pediatrics. 2014;26:597.
- Yeh S. et al. Bordetella pertussis infection in infants and children: Clinical features and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 23, 2014.
- Yeh S, et al. Bordetella pertussis infection in infants and children: Treatment and prevention. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 23, 2014.
- Kline JM, et al. Pertussis: A reemerging infection. American Family Physician. 2013;88:507.
- Tdap vaccine — What you need to know. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/tdap.html. Accessed Dec. 23, 2014.