[Sca-cooks] Whooping cough making the rounds

Sharon Gordon gordonse at one.net
Mon Oct 9 06:26:06 PDT 2006

Whopping cough is making the rounds  with some SCA members coming down with it after the middle of August.  I thought I'd post here in case anyone's kitchen crew member comes down with it, they will know they are in for a long recovery, and that it needs more than a bit of cough medicine and toughing it out.

Most people were immunized as children with the DPT vaccination.  You can get an adult booster shot vaccination for this.  The schedule is every 10 years.

As for the coughing, the really bad cough can last 3+ months.  (The disease is sometimes called the 100 day cough.)  A mono-like tiredness can last for many months after that.  

During the whoop phase what happens is you cough until all the air is out of your lungs.  If you have ever been knocked flat on your back and had all the air knocked out of your lungs, that is what it feels like.  (Try to remain calm during this time, you will get a chance to breathe again at the end of the coughing spell.)  Then when you finally get to breathe again, it's like you are trying to breathe from your toenails up....hence the the whooping intake of breath.  Fortunately this phase doesn't last for the whole 3+ months of coughing.

The cough can be particularly life threatening for babies and young children.

(Don't listen to these while eating.)

Here's the sound of the cough with the whoop(child):

Cough with lots of whooping(child):

Deeper coughing and whooping sound from adult male:  Adult females sound similar but usually the sounds are not quite as deep.

Here is what the extreme coughing sounds like without the whoop.  You can hear it has a different sort of coughing-choking sound, gravelly crackley-straining sound than the usual winter cough.

Fortunately there is only a short period of time where this is in its most  contagious stage.  An antibiotic can shorten this time greatly.

Here is more info:

gordonse at one.net

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