Definition: A paroxysmal cough of an epidemic and contagious nature consisting of a series of short spasmodic, forcible, prolonged inspirations. A peculiar sonorous sound called the “hoop,” “whoop,” when you cough. The cough terminates in expectoration or vomiting.
Whooping cough is an infectious disease and spreads from one person to another.
Whooping cough is generally preceded by a common cold,- cough, feverishness. After 7-10 days of the catarrhal stage the cough becomes louder, more prolonged and assumes the characteristic convulsive nature.
Each paroxysm consists in a number of sudden, violent, cough, which expel so large an amount of air from the lungs that the patient appears on the point of suffocation; these forcible efforts are followed by a deep-drawn inspiration, in which a rush of air through the partially-closed glottis gives rise to the distinctive crowning or whooping noise.
Duringthis paroxysm the face becomes deeply red; the eyes protrude and start to tear, the expression of someone who is suffocating.
The coughs end in expectoration and vomiting of glairy, ropy mucus. This ropy expectoration helps to distinguish it from the common cough.
The attack comes three or four times a day or every three four hours.
The whooping cough should be distinguished from “Spasmodic Croup”. In whooping cough the “whoop” follows the cough and in spasmodic croup it precedes it.
Homeopathy has wonderful remedies which help control the cough and raise the immunity of the child. A thorough case taking is necessary to arrive at the similia.
The remedies that are indicated are:
Aconitum: Dry, hard or wheezing cough, with burning pains or tickling in the windpipe.
Arnica: The child cries before the cough and also during the cough.Streaks of blood in the sputum.
Belladonna: Sudden violent cough, worse at night, with sore throat. It follows well with Aconitum.
Drosera: It is generally efficient in epidemic whooping cough. Whooping stage, with frequent and severe paroxysm. There may be no fever, with perspiration, vomiting of food, water or ropy mucus.
Ipecac: Vomiting of mucus and other gastric symptoms, sneezing.
Veratrum: The mucus rattling begins low down in the chest, with a tickling sensation. Fever, thirst, extreme weakness, cold perspiration.
Cuprum: When the cough is violent, causing convulsions.
Phosphorus, Cina, Sulphur, Antim Tart, Coral rub, Kali bichrom.