Whooping Cough Is Back

Did You Know…whooping cough is back and vaccines may not be the answer?

In 1934, there were 265,000 incidences of whooping cough (otherwise known as pertussis), a bacterial respiratory infection that prompts violent coughing fits.  Whooping cough is most risky for vulnerable patients including older adults and infants.  Older patients run the risk of breaking a rib or bursting capillaries in their eyes, children are susceptible to seizures, and infants unable to cough with enough force can stop breathing altogether and die.

A pertussis vaccine was developed in the 1940s, and although it didn’t eradicate the disease completely, it reduced the number of diagnoses and subsequent deaths immeasurably.  Unfortunately, the vaccine is losing effectiveness and the last decade has seen a dramatic spike in whooping cough cases.

In 2012, 48,277 Americans contracted whooping cough, and 20 (mostly infants) died. 2013 saw 13 deaths, and 2014 gave rise to 32, 971 pertussis cases.

Why Is Whooping Cough Winning? 

The late 1990s brought a new version of the whooping cough vaccine designed to be safer with fewer side effects.  However, a study published February 2016 in the journal Pediatrics suggests that the newer pertussis vaccine is far less effective than the old one:

  • Researchers from the Kaiser Permanente Vaccine Study Center in Oakland CA found that in as little as 3 years after vaccination teenagers were no longer protected, and more than 90% were vulnerable to infection. 
  • These teens had the highest incidence of pertussis of any age group in 2014, even though they were given boosters from ages 11 to 12. 
  • The whooping cough booster was implemented in 2005 when it became evident that the vaccine wasn’t living up to its life-long protection claims.

What’s the Solution? 

Experts still advise getting a pertussis vaccination, and many are recommending more frequent vaccinations.  While whooping cough can be effectively treated with antibiotics, it is commonly misdiagnosed as a cold or bronchitis, and by the time the correct diagnosis is made, the window for effective antibiotic treatment has closed.  Very severe whooping cough infections can result in hospitalization and months of long recovery.  Lung function may be permanently incapacitated, leaving sufferers prone to a lifetime of shortness of breath and fatigue.

You can help safeguard against whooping cough with a daily regimen of the following:

 Therapeutic doses of vitamin D3
 Plentiful hydration
 Daily probiotics
 Immune-boosting supplements

What Do I Do if I Catch Whooping Cough? 

If you have been diagnosed with whooping cough follow the guidance of your doctor.  You can also ask your healthcare provider about the following natural remedies for whooping cough.

 IV Hydration: in addition to staying hydrated with water and fruit juices, IV Hydration can help clear the thick gluey secretions that develop due to pertussis.
 Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatments: some experts believe that these treatments help destroy the bacteria faster.
 Homeopathy: Homeopathy treatments such as Drosera and Bronchi 5 may help treat whooping cough.
 High Dose Vitamin C: When given every 10-15 minutes while patient is awake, high dose vitamin C therapy is potentially effective.

Some natural healthcare practitioners recommend taking unprocessed cod liver oil and avoiding dairy products, which can make symptoms worse.

Some experts suggest you can ease the violence of the cough by diluting any of the following essential oils in a carrier oil and rub on the chest or back: tea tree, camphor, eucalyptus, lavender, chamomile, or peppermint.