Whooping Cough ChildWhooping Cough is a disease which mainly affects children, and is more commonly seen in the developing world. The highest incidence is found below the age of five years. Infants below six months have the highest mortality. It is caused by an organism called Bordetella pertussis.
It is named Whooping Cough as the infection results in a characteristic “Whoop” sound during inspiration. Since the advent of immunization there has been a decline in the cases of Whooping Cough worldwide.
An acute infectious disease, usually of young children, caused by B.pertussis, it is clinically characterized by an insidious onset with mild fever and an irritating cough, gradually becoming paroxysmal with the characteristic “Whoop” (loud crowing inspiration).
Overview of the magnitude of the problem
Whooping Cough occurs in all countries but a much higher incidence is seen in developing countries. In tropical countries, It is estimated that around 40 million cases are reported every year and about 3,55,000 die each year. Thus, the disease carries a significant morbidity and mortality rate with it. Most deaths occur in countries in Africa, Asia, and Central and Latin America. From statistics available in 1995, around 16,000 cases were reported in India.