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Does whooping cough always have a whoop?


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#1 What'sNext??

Posted 15 November 2012 - 09:08 PM

So DS was exposed to whooping cough 2 weeks ago (friend of dd, positive swab).

He is fully immunised and we suspect he had whooping cough when he was 12-15 months old (but not swabbed).  2 nights ago he started coughing, not badly and really only at night time. Note to self to pay attention. Has been complaining of a sore throat.  Tonight coughing a lot to the point of just vomiting everywhere.  But the cough doesn't whoop, just normal cough.

Whilst DH thinks he doesn't need to go to the doctor, I will take him tomorrow (he's fine during the day & there is no whoop so you're just being hysterical) and will request test as I don't want to spread it further if it is.

So.... In this situation would you?

A- take DS for last day of school transition in the morning? I really don't want him to miss it :-(
B- if swabbed but no results yet, would you take him to kinder?
C- if swabbed but no results yet, would you take him to a family get together where there is a baby and another immune compromised person?

And lastly without a whoop is it still even likely to be whooping cough?

Thanks in advance!

#2 Luxe

Posted 15 November 2012 - 09:21 PM

When I had bronchitis is was mostly bad at night. I cough so repetitively I couldn't breathe properly, was gasping for air and almost vomiting. I was coughing up grey gunk.

I'd take him to the doctor anyway. If he improves during daylight hours maybe he can still do the last day but take him to the dr at the end of day.

#3 Liadan

Posted 15 November 2012 - 09:24 PM

whooping cough in adults and in vaccinated children does not always have that whooping sound.

As he has been exposed, I would avoid risking exposing babies and immune - compromised people, especially babies.

Not worth the risk, IMO.

#4 FunkyChooken

Posted 15 November 2012 - 09:24 PM

nope there doesnt have to be a whoop sound.

#5 FeralEsme

Posted 15 November 2012 - 09:25 PM

No, especially not in a vaccinated child.
Two of my children had WC last year and the Dr that diagnosed had every GP in the practice listening to my eldest's cough because a child with WC that has been vax'd apparently sounds different.

#6 MiSS_E

Posted 15 November 2012 - 09:25 PM

When I had whooping cough it lasted all day and night (there is no way I would have been fine during the day, the cough was relentless). I also had the whoop sound because the coughing took my breath away and I had to gasp some air in. That said I'm not a doctor and I would definitely have him checked since you suspect it and the previous exposure.

eta I had it as an adult, and I was not vaccinated.

Edited by MiSS_E, 15 November 2012 - 09:26 PM.


#7 .Jerry.

Posted 15 November 2012 - 09:25 PM

My 6 year old and I are on the tail end of whooping cough.  I had no whoop.  Molly did whoop at times.   I used to think the whoop was on the cough, but the whoop is actually the intake of air after the cough.  This is because in a whooping coughing fit you actually expel so much air you need to whoop to take air in.  
My daughter would go purple and silent after a coughing fit.  Scary.
I didn't, but I did have prolonged coughing fits.

I found this site helpful:  http://www.whoopingcough.net/

I also looked on youtube for clips of what whooping cough looked and sounded like.

Molly and I both had the swab tests which were positive.

I would get checked out.

#8 Feral Nicety

Posted 15 November 2012 - 09:30 PM

My non-vaccinated child (do not judge, he is on the spectrum and the evidence was all OM*G  wutdo back then) had whooping cough and never whooped.  

When he saw the GP for a mild nagging cough that had gone on for a few weeks, she was vindictively nasty and said it is whooping cough!  And I said errr he's only just mildly coughing at night, it's nothing like full on whooping cough.  We did bloods, she crowed at me, I changed GPs.

So yeah totally possible. Evidence  now in on ASD and vaccination so I would make different choices now.

#9 FeralEsme

Posted 15 November 2012 - 09:32 PM

She did bloods? That's unusual, whopping cough is usually diagnosed with nasal aspiration.

#10 glasnost

Posted 15 November 2012 - 09:38 PM

DS1 & DD had wc a few weeks ago. They both just had bad coughs (mostly at night). DS would cough to the point of throwing up. They did not "whoop"- as pps have said the vax usually takes the "whoop" out of the cough.


I would not be taking my kids near young babies/ those with lower immunity until you have swab results back or the cough is completely gone.

#11 4kidlets

Posted 15 November 2012 - 09:39 PM

Not usually Jemstar - always.


However it is possible bloods were taken for related reasons at the same time - but not for a diagnosis of whooping cough or influenza.

Edited by 4kidlets, 15 November 2012 - 09:40 PM.


#12 Feral Nicety

Posted 15 November 2012 - 09:44 PM

She did bloods solely for WC.  No, I don't know why she did that and when she ordered them I was all OK this is how we rule it out.  It was only after that, reading other people's stories about dx I realised swabs were normal.



#13 mumtoactivetoddler

Posted 15 November 2012 - 09:45 PM

We had whooping cough here last year, both kids vaccinated, both kids had it. DD coughed in the day and night but no whoop, DS coughed only at night fit to bust, but no whoop. GP (not my normal one) thought I was being an idiot asking for the test (it was rife amongst the vaccinated kids at our school) but I was right.


#14 Chazee

Posted 15 November 2012 - 09:59 PM

My vaccinated DD did not whoop with hers. Coughed all night long though (couldn't sleep until she finally did from utter exhaustion). Day time she was not too bad.

#15 Gruffalo's Child

Posted 15 November 2012 - 10:13 PM

QUOTE (What'sNext?? @ 15/11/2012, 10:08 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
C- if swabbed but no results yet, would you take him to a family get together where there is a baby and another immune compromised person?

And lastly without a whoop is it still even likely to be whooping cough?

Thanks in advance!


Hi OP, in regards to your last question, I would not take my son to a family get together if it had a young baby and immune compromised person if he was coughing at night to the point of nearly vomiting even if it turned out not to be whooping cough.

#16 *Tess*

Posted 15 November 2012 - 10:18 PM

My vaccinated children had whooping cough after being exposed to it at school. They only coughed at night and never to the point of vomiting. Never heard a single whoop. Doctors didn't think it was whooping cough at all but I insisted on them being tested. First child was sent for blood test, the other child saw a different doctor and had the nasal swab. Both returned positive results.

I don't know how many people they could have infected if I had just believed the doctors that it was just a cold and not insisted on testing.

#17 mumto3princesses

Posted 16 November 2012 - 06:32 AM

I wouldn't risk it. He has been exposed to a confirmed case and now has a cough. Too risky I think.

My DD1 & DD3 had whooping cough a few years ago. Both vaccinated.

It started with DD1 who just had an annoying sort of tickle in the throat type cough. Definately no whoop and perfectly well otherwise. We had no idea and even the Dr didn't think it was but decided to test her anyway since it was going around our area. We were surprised when the test came back positive. I felt so guilty as a boy in her class who was also vaccinated ended up very sick with it.

A little while later DD3 ended up with it  but was no longer contagious. She did had a bit of a whoop at times. As pp said it was the intake of breath after/during a coughing fit.

#18 ~~~

Posted 16 November 2012 - 06:47 AM

Vaccinated adult here and I've now had it twice in 12mths - 2nd time dry non productive cough and negative swab but positive blood test (well, really high levels so they assumed it was reinfection).

First time we all got sick with what we thought was a cold. No whoop (kids are vax'd and DP had had the WC booster like me) just lingering cough for me. Dr didn't think i had it but it was going around DD's school. Blood test (not quantitative) was positive..... 5days ABs for me and family first time and then 10 days 2nd time around as I was PG.

Now, if I even get a sniff at a repetitive cough, I will get tested..... I wouldn't be going near any babies/small children/at risk people either unless it was confirmed one way or another....

Oh, and I think for those who are asking about diagnosis of swab vs bloods, depends on how long you've been coughing/infected for etc.

#19 FeralSchnitzel

Posted 16 November 2012 - 06:48 AM

The type of testing conducted will depend on how long the person has had the symptoms. a nasal aspiration is mainly useful in the first few weeks, where as a blood test is usually ordered if the person has been coughing for a few weeks or longer, because bloods will show antibodies.

#20 Illiterati

Posted 16 November 2012 - 07:53 AM

Whooping cough is in the community. When one of my kids were  vomiting as a result of coughing, our GP got a swab done and said I should keep her home till they got the results (2days). I had to cancel a whole lot of stuff - but it is just the right thing to do. It is frustrating - especially as the GP said he did not think she had it (and in the end she didnt) but the vomiting is a red flag.

Edited by winterlong, 16 November 2012 - 07:54 AM.


#21 Therese

Posted 16 November 2012 - 08:11 AM

As the mother of an immune compromised child please don't take him to the family get together. If my daughter got whooping cough it would be incredibly serious and would potentially be life threatening too. (she also has a lung condition).

I think because you know he has been exposed that it is better to wait until you get the results from the Dr.

#22 What'sNext??

Posted 16 November 2012 - 09:46 AM

Thanks all.  Especially Jerry for that link.

His exposure would have been on Halloween, so just on 2 weeks.   It would still appear to be quite early developing. That said he was coughing this morning and the cough certainly does sound to be developing some grunt.

Won't do kinder today (especially as shared centre with Childcare & maternal health centre) & unless no coughing at all tomorrow we will miss the family get together.   Doctors appointment this afternoon.

Thanks again!



Edited by What'sNext??, 16 November 2012 - 09:47 AM.


#23 winkywonkeydonkey

Posted 16 November 2012 - 09:56 AM

my son had whooping cough when he was 2 and he did not have a whoop, and he only really coughed at night.

Its better to be safe than sorry , you dont want to be spreading the disease through the community. I would keep him home until you get results.




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