Essay on Pertussis

1472 Words 6 Pages
Bordetella Pertussis, better known just as Pertussis or "Whooping Cough", is a gram-negative bacilli that is an extremely transmissible disease. This bacteria is a trivial, oxygen requiring gram-negative rod that needs specific mediums for isolation. This bacterium can produce several antigenic and organic substances, which include a pertussis toxin, filamentous hemagglutinin, agglutinogens, adenylate cyclase, pertactin, and tracheal cytotoxin. Pertussis primarily occurs in children and adults, and is caused by the bacterium Bordetella Pertussis. The oldest recording of symptoms that are most comparable to the symptoms of Pertussis, date as old as 1578 in a recorded depiction of this disease by Guillanne De Baillon, a French …show more content…
Before the first vaccine had been invented and made available in the 1940s, over 200,000 signs of pertussis had been reported every year. Pertussis is endemic throughout the entire world, and reoccurs in the US every 3 to 4 years. This disease can also be present in any age, but almost "71 percent of cases occur in children < 5 years of age, and 38 % of cases, including nearly all deaths, occur in infants < 6 months. Mortality is about 1 to 2 % in children < 1 years of age and is highest during the first month of life" (Merck Manual, 2011). The transmission of B. pertussis is typically airborne from already infected patients, and although its spread is rare through infected articles (i.e. clothing) it's not impossible. Pertussis is specifically a disease in humans, and no other animal or any other host is known to carry it. The original symptoms of "whooping cough" are typical of a non-specific upper respiratory infection (meaning the infection is not in a specific upper respiratory organ, e.g. Bronchitis). The first sign is a cough that " ...ends in a prolonged, high-pitched, crowing inspiration known as 'the whoop'", and once a culture is confirmed and the patient is eligible for diagnosis, the incubation period is initiated. This cough is the result of the bacterial infection causing swollen and inflamed air passages, due to excessive mucus build up. This incubation period last on an average of 7 to 14 days, in which the bacterium will attack a patient's

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