Paroxysmal Cough

You have a violent, explosive, uncontrollable (paroxysmal) cough that makes you feel you are going to die; right? 

You go red in the face and and eventually vomit; right?.

People around you are frightened for you: right?.

Then the paroxysm stops and you are fine for an hour or several hours until the next attack comes along: right?.

These paroxysms have been going on for days and you thought you must have Covid-19: right?

You have tested negative for Covid-19 and your doctor says it is a regular cough virus: right?

Well your doctor may be right, but if you are normally in good health and not prone to lung problems and serious stuff like TB or lung cancer have been ruled out, then there is a high probability you have caught whooping cough (pertussis, better called whoopingcough-pertussis).

Although it is usually thought of as a disease of children, because they are protected through immunisation, most recognised cases are now seen in teens and adults in the developed world.

But interestingly it is a bit like Covid-19 insofar as most cases are mild and unrecognised and invisibly boost our immunity from time to time.

Covid-19 does not cause this kind of paroxysmal coughing.

Occasionally however, as adults, our immunity fails and we go down with a classical case of whooping cough.

Like Covid-19 it is easily confirmed with a PCR test in the first 3 weeks.

Unlike Covid-19 it spares the elderly but kills babies. That is why childhood immunisation and a booster in pregnancy is so vital.

This website gives you all the information you need, and you can also email me.


Retired GP who is an expert on clinical whooping cough

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