The Symptoms of Whooping-Cough - Chin Cough - Pertussis

Slight fever for eight or ten days, followed, sometimes accompanied, by violent paroxysme of coughing; coryza; hot, dry skin; restlessness; as fever subsides, cough acquires a peculiar shrill sound or whoop; expectoration of tough, viscid mucus; paroxysms of coughing often accompanied by vomiting; from three or four to six or eight times as many severe paroxysms occur each day.

This disease is contagious, remaining latent about six days. The same person is rarely affected more than once. At its beginning, it is generally mistaken for an ordinary cold; the mistake is discovered, however, when the cough assumes its peculiar character. The cough is often preceded by a sensation of tickling in the throat. After a paroxysm, the patient is much exhausted, but in mild cases soon goes about as lively as ever. The cough is provoked by inhalation of cold air, laughing, crying, swallowing, and various other causes. The great cause of the cough, however, is the accumulation of tough, tenacious mucus in the throat. This stage of the disease may last only three' or four weeks, or as many months. Finally, the tenacious mucus gives place to that which is thinner, less tenacious, and more easily expectorated. The cough is less severe and frequent, and the patient is beginning to recover, but the tendency to relapse is very great. With good care and proper treatment, the disease should not last more than four or six weeks. The results of the disease are sometimes quite serious. The violent coughing may give rise to hernia or rupture. Collapse of some portions of the lungs, and also emphysema or dilatation of the air-cells is another not infrequent result. This is the cause of the permanent shortness of breath in some cases. Whooping-cough may also lead to consumption. In many cases, an irritability of the mucous membrane is left, which occasions a cough much resembling the peculiar cough characteristic of the disease whenever the person takes a little cold. The disease rarely affects adults, and is seldom fatal.