Whooping Cough in Adults Is Re-Emerging, Here’s What You Need To Know and How to Manage the Disease

Tips on management of whooping cough

The question of management of whooping cough concerns the most dangerous stage which is stage 2 the paroxysmal stage. Usually talking cough mixtures does nothing for the cough, but your doctor is the best person to decide if you need a cough mixture to help control the coughing. The most important thing to remember is to avoid any agent that may trigger a bout of coughing. Keeping your throat free from any irritation is extremely important so that you prevent coughing. Stage two is such that even clearing your throat may trigger a coughing spasm.

Drink plenty of herbal teas such as basil, chamomile or green tea to soothe your throat. Herbal teas concoctions can include the following mixtures;

Boil basil leaf, ginger, and honey

Green tea

Chamomile tea and a dash of lemon



  • Honey is an excellent remedy to soothe your throat after a bout of coughing, take a teaspoon of honey three to four times a day preferably with lemon and warm water.
  • Avoid citric fruits like oranges, pineapples, berries, grapes, and mangoes. Fruits like bananas and apples are good to consume as they are easy on the throat.
  • Boost your immunity with vitamin C supplements (consult your doctor before taking one).
  • Avoid all spicy foods even moderately spicy foods can irritate your throat and trigger a coughing spasm. Similarly maintaining digestion is important as gastric reflux can trigger coughing.



  • In case your throat is injured or hurt from coughing, gargle with a warm saline gargle.
  • Avoid caffeine such as caffeinated teas and coffee.
  • Avoid smoking at any cost.
  • Avoid coughing in front of family members, cover your mouth or go outside.
  • Garlic is a natural antibiotic. Consume a few cloves of raw garlic with your breakfast every day or take a teaspoon of crushed garlic and honey.
  • Medicated cough lozenges are excellent for soothing the throat and preventing cough.

Keep yourself healthy to avoid the infection leading to complications. According to the CDC (center for disease, control, and prevention), whooping cough in adults can lead to complications such as

  • Pneumonia,
  • Rib fractures
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Lack of sleep
  • Respiratory infection


When a coughing bout occurs, hold your chest to avoid the spasms shaking up your lungs and ribs. Complications arising from whooping cough are punctured ribs and infection into the lungs which surprisingly can even be the result of constant spasmodic coughing weakening the lungs increases the chance of further infection.

Take deep gasps of air or breathe deeply

One particular remedy to stop a bout of coughing spasms and choking is to focus your entire energy on taking deep gasps of air. Although it may be difficult, try and breathe deeply with your mouth open. This may ease the spasms

Hold your breath

Another remedy to reduce the coughing spasm which is extremely helpful is delaying your breathing. Hold your breath for as long as possible until you feel the spasm fade and then breathe slowly. This technique may not work in the initial stages of whooping cough but in the paroxysmal stage, it is extremely helpful to stop gagging and reduce coughing spasms. The brief moment of holding your breath gives you some control over the situation to overcome the natural reaction of coughing. This is only suitable for older patients and adults. It is not recommended for children.



  • According to research and studies, whooping cough is making a reemergence in the world. Consult your doctor for child or adult vaccination NOW.
  • Consult a doctor to consider for getting a vaccination booster for whooping cough. In adults the vaccination is known as a Tdap vaccine which is a whooping cough booster and is recommended by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases for all adults above 19.


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