To wonder if its whooping cough?

(22 Posts)
Sparklymommy Fri 22-Nov-13 07:57:44

6 year old ds is poorly. He sounds like a sea lion when he coughs. He's having bouts of uncontrollable coughing. He has a slight temp (although he's always hot) and a very slight runny nose.

Is the doctor going to laugh me out the room if I raise this concern? I cannot remember if ds had ALL of his immunisations (I had severe pnd when he was a baby).

I am dreading it being whooping cough. I do not think I can bear it if he has to have a whole week off school! I love him to bits but he's a bit of a handful at the best of times!!!

crimsonwitch Fri 22-Nov-13 08:01:37

When you said he sounds like a sea lion I immediately thought croup. Its more common in babies bit my ds (6) has had it every winter since he was a baby. It isn't usually very serious, but definitely worth a trip to the gp.

crimsonwitch Fri 22-Nov-13 08:02:43

But, not bit.

winklewoman Fri 22-Nov-13 08:03:00

Whether it is whooping cough or not, you can hardly send him to school in that state, can you?

StrattersInTheTARDIS Fri 22-Nov-13 08:09:00

It sounds more like croup to me, but it's worth taking him to the GP, just in case.

Incidentally, a week off is unlikely with WC. DD2 had it last year, and was off school from July to January.

<runs>

Faithless12 Fri 22-Nov-13 08:12:58

Sounds like Croup, whooping cough is when they whoop when they breathe in after coughing.

Sparklymommy Fri 22-Nov-13 08:14:59

I am Praying its croup! I just have a gut feeling that it isn't sad

I wasn't planning on sending him to school today, but according to the nhs website if its whooping cough I will have to keep him off for a week... stratters you have just confirmed my fear that whooping cough could easily ruin ALL my plans for the forseeable future!!

Rosa Fri 22-Nov-13 08:18:37

I had whooping cough as a child and you literally can't get breath after coughing you are gasping (as in you swim under water come up and want to take a deep breath) but with whooping cough this horrible sound comes out and often you can't get air in. I was off school for 3 months and my sister longer .

Sparklymommy Fri 22-Nov-13 08:18:41

He is whooping with the cough. And it's a very dry cough.

SunshineMMum Fri 22-Nov-13 08:28:00

DH had whooping cough last year. He often has a winter cough, but this was awful, relentless and went on for weeks and weeks leaving him exhausted. You are totally NBU to get him checked out.

tiggytape Fri 22-Nov-13 08:36:04

6 is an unlikely age to have whooping cough although you are right that there has been a massive increase in cases recently.

It is thought that the vaccine (given to babies) may only last for 10 years or so and therefore leave young adults especially vulnerable to the illness (as well as newborns who are to young to have had the vaccine of course which is why pregnant women are being offered the jab).

A 6 year old will be in the 1-10 age group that still has the most effective protection from the vaccine and is probably least likely to get whooping cough.

Whooping cough is normally worse at night but so is croup and asthma and croup traditionally is the sealion cough. A whoop is different. It is a sudden, hoarse gasping noise made by the patient as they finally manage to inhale again after being unable to breath whilst coughing.

With WC, the patient normally has a couple of weeks of illness followed by weeks of uncontrollable coughing fits that gradually get further apart over about a 2-3 month period.
They feel reasonably well in between those fits. The fits are horrendous with a complete inability to breath, eyes popping, complete panic to the point of being sick. The whooping noise isn't always present.

StrattersInTheTARDIS Fri 22-Nov-13 08:38:03

The week is until the antibiotics he will be prescribed if he has WC, make him no longer contagious.

Unfortunately with WC, by the time they start whooping, the damage is already done, and antibiotics do nothing to ease it. Back to school is when the child is fit enough to cope with school, in some cases it's quite quickly, in most cases its ages. The only thing that DD and I found helpful, was ice lollies to soothe the cough. It is horrid, I was given ABs as soon as DD was diagnosed (which was pretty quickly, thanks to Mumsnet), but I was still quite ill. DD was very ill, as up until she started coughing, I'd assumed she'd just got a summer cold. By then it was too late to do anything but ease the symptoms.

puntasticusername Fri 22-Nov-13 08:41:33

Google it - t'Internet has audio files you can listen to to compare the coughs and help you decide if yours is really of the whooping variety. Good luck, hope lo feels better soon whatever it is!

tiggytape Fri 22-Nov-13 08:43:01

Stratters - that is very common. Nobody usually knows it is whooping cough until the terrible coughing fits start by which time, it is too late for antibiotics to make it better. The bacteria has already done the damage. Until the coughing starts, it presents like a cold which most people wouldn't dream of vising a Dr for and most Drs wouldn't dream of prescribing antibiotics for.

Antibiotics won't help once the cough starts but they can stop others from catching it. It is important to get diagnosed even though very little can be done to treat it so that you can avoid vulnerable people eg new babies and pregnant women and know that plenty of rest is going to be needed since recovery can take a long time (they call it the 100 day cough)

StrattersInTheTARDIS Fri 22-Nov-13 08:47:52

The 100 day cough is considerably more accurate than whooping cough. Not everyone whoops, I only whooped a couple of times, but I was still fairly poorly with it, even though I was given ABs before any symptoms presented.

It's a fucker of a disease, and it's damaged both my lungs and DDs lungs. My asthma is out of control now.

MiaowTheCat Fri 22-Nov-13 08:49:52

DD1 has had the whoopy sounding cough for a while - had her at the doctors a couple of times just to make sure it's not and not something being spread around... doctor won't give the diagnostic label yet because of her age - but is fairly sure it's childhood asthma.

Sparklymommy Fri 22-Nov-13 09:33:26

Miaow tell me about it! Ds1 had asthma from a baby. I fought for 6 months to get a diagnosis! I knew what it was, the drs knew what it was, but wouldn't diagnose because he was a baby.

However dd1 (who didn't have asthma) they continually tried to label her with it because she had bronchililis at 6 weeks old! Crazy!

PeppermintBark Fri 22-Nov-13 19:47:25

I had whooping cough last year (caught it in hospital!) and I never really had the whooping sound. It was about 3 months before I finished coughing and it really knocked my stamina about. It completely knackered my pelvic floor, however, and a year later it's only just about better after much exercising of it.

mumtobealloveragain Fri 22-Nov-13 19:52:25

Whooping cough can be very serious and may mean months and months of illness and time off school.

More likely to be croup but this too can be serious. Croup is the sea lion bark, usually with a high temp, and more likely to present at night. It can worsen very quickly my stepson had it last year and he went from a bit of coughing to hysterical in just a few minutes. He was hardly able to breathe and was turning blue around the lips, we rushed him to A&E where they put him on a nebuliser.

Don't ignore it, get it checked by the GP at least.

Metebelis3 Fri 22-Nov-13 19:53:27

If it's whooping cough hell be off for more than a week!!!! DS was off for 12 weeks.

BoJolly Fri 22-Nov-13 19:56:21

Both my DC had whooping cough (at the same time!!) when they were little despite having all immunisations. DS1 was about 4 and DS2 was 2.

We saw 7 different doctors who insisted they had asthma, despite me telling them about the distinctive "Whoop". I still feel guilty about trying to get them to use prescribed inhalers which just seemed to make them worse.

It was a terrifying time. They mainly had coughing fits at night where they would cough until they vomited. During the day they hardly coughed, but sometimes eating would trigger a bout of coughing.

I hope your DS is feeling better soon thanks

OhDeanna Fri 22-Nov-13 20:06:20

Yup, I had whooping cough in the summer. It lasted for almost four months and I still have a trace of the cough now. The cough would come on suddenly and there were literally times I could not breathe; I ended up crawling round the floor desperately trying to take in air - it was very scary. I was utterly exhausted.

I coughed so hard that I often vomited and I actually fractured two ribs.

Like Stratters, my asthma is also very bad and, like Peppermint, my pelvic floor is damaged.

It's a nasty old fucker.

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