It might be the season of winter markets, mulled wine and hot chocolates, but it’s also the time of year where everyone seems to be ill.
Also known as the ‘100-day cough’, it’s a bacterial infection of the lungs and breathing tubes.
The NHS warns that ‘it spreads very easily’ as well as it has potential to ‘sometimes cause serious problems’.
And it’s also very important for babies and children to get vaccinated against the whooping cough.
You’d be forgiven to at first passing it off for a cold, as the first symptoms are similar, like having a runny nose and sore throat. Although, a high temperature isn’t so common.
The NHS says that after about a week with the ‘100-day cough’, adults or children:
· Will get coughing bouts that last for a few minutes and are worse at night.
· Might make a "whoop" sound (hence the name) which is a gasp for breath between coughs. However, this isn’t true for young babies and some adults.
· May have difficulty breathing after a coughing bout and may turn blue or grey (specifically in younger kids).
· May bring up a thick mucus, which can make you vomit.
· May become very red in the face – this is more common in adults.
And as the nickname suggests, that bas**rd cough could last for several weeks or even months.
Professor Helen Bedford - an expert in child public health at University College London - has warned: "As expected, we are now seeing cases of whooping cough increase again, so it's vital pregnant women ensure they get vaccinated to protect their baby.
“Whooping cough in young babies can be very serious and vaccinating their mothers in pregnancy is the only way of ensuring they are protected in the first few months."
It's important to see a doctor if you or your child are:
· Struggling to breathe
· Turning blue or purple
· Coughing violently
· Coughing rapidly, over and over
· Not drinking enough fluids
"Recovery from whooping cough can be slow. The cough becomes milder and less common as you get better," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
"Coughing fits may stop for a while but can return if you get other respiratory infections. Coughing fits can return many months after the whooping cough illness started."
Stay healthy out there, lads.Featured Image Credit: Getty Stock Images