A one-time case in my private homeopathic practice this week is hardly call for a whooping cough epidemic in Calgary but a quick search on the internet revealed that there have been several outbreaks happening in Canada and the USA these last few years.
So whether you are a vaccinated-for-whooping-cough family (DTaP vaccine) or a vaccine-free family, you will want to know what you can do for your child (or adults in the household) diagnosed with whooping cough. Read on.
JUST A COLD and COUGH
Likely, your child will only seem mildly sick at first with a ‘cold’ with symptoms like a runny nose, sneezing, mild cough and a low grade fever. Within a couple of weeks, the cough turns into spells of coughing coughing coughing that can end in vomiting, gagging or in the characteristic ‘whoop’ of whooping cough when your child breathes in at the end of a spell. What is also characteristic is that there can be a long time in between spells of coughing. Of most concern is for infants under 6 months and babies under a year. They may not have the whoop (not all children, teens or adults will get this characteristic whoop either) but for infants and babies, there be times when they actually stop breathing (called apnea) simply because they cannot catch their breath during a coughing spell.
WHEN IS A COUGH A WHOOPING COUGH?
If the coughing spells have gone on for a month, you’ll likely want to take your child to the doctor where they can test for pertussis bacteria. This is the bacterium responsible for whooping cough. Most parents I know these days however, will have done their research on the Internet and will likely have a pretty good idea of what is going on with this kind of persistent cough.
One of the very best websites I have found is Dr. Doug Jenkinson’s site. He has put together some great information along with audio clips and video of children and adults with whooping cough, some with the whoop and some without. His advice is to be sure to video your child or adult in the throes of a coughing spell because it is possible that you go to the doctor or to emergency and your child does not cough…at all. If you have a video, it’s likely that they will then believe you and test for whooping cough.
“For the average case of whooping cough there is no treatment likely to make a difference to the course of the illness or materially reduce the symptoms. It will generally take its course no matter what. Attempts to get benefit from bronchodilators, cough suppressants or antibiotics are generally futile.” – Dr. Doug Jenkinson
So what is a parent to do? The SINGLE best article you will ever read on the treatment of whooping cough is written by Dr. Suzanne Humphries. Dr. Humphries outlines the kind and amounts of Vitamin C that are essential to your child’s recovery.
In addition, homeopathic remedies will be able to help support your child’s healing. Check out the Resources at the bottom of the page for a whooping cough remedy handout.
Also, be sure to sign up for the Polio/Pertussis class that I offer. You can study at your own pace, any time, in your own home. The course includes: PowerPoint presentation, audio with written transcripts and a handout.
Whooping cough is one of the illnesses where as a parent, you want to do everything you can to help you child heal and to make sure that everyone gets much needed sleep. Homeopathy can support healing in this kind of infectious illness. And homeopathy can also be used to prevent the illness. Talk to your homeopath about the use of homeopathic Pertussin as prevention.
Please remember, if your child is having difficulty breathing, you must head to the hospital right away. Please keep that in mind when you have a sick child. Western medicine excels at emergency medicine and if you are dealing with broken bones, bleeding and breathing problems, you must get medical help.
Yours in health and healing,
RESOURCES: Whooping Cough Handout