A doctor has shed light on the reasons behind the lingering effects of the so-called “100-day cough,” also known as whooping cough. This bacterial infection impacts the lungs and breathing tubes, resulting in symptoms like difficulty breathing, persistent coughing, and a runny nose. The UK has witnessed a significant 200% increase in reported cases compared to the previous year.

While antibiotics can treat the illness, individuals often experience its effects for weeks or even months, earning it the nickname “100-day cough.” Dr. Tom Jenkins, a GP, explained the reason for the prolonged symptoms, stating, “It has evolved to make you cough as long as possible, giving it the best chance to spread to other people.” He highlighted the potential dangers of the disease, emphasizing that it can make breathing difficult, with fatal outcomes reported, especially among young children.

Jenkins emphasized the significance of the persistent cough, noting that continuous coughing hinders proper breathing and leaves individuals breathless, particularly concerning for children. The disease has seen a notable surge in cases, with 716 reported between July and November, three times higher than the same period in the previous year. While most cases are concentrated in England and Wales, the risk is present across the country.

In addition to a prolonged cough, experts advise monitoring three initial signs of whooping cough, which include a runny nose, a sore throat, and nasal congestion—symptoms often mistaken for a common cold. As the illness progresses, individuals may experience coughing bouts that worsen at night, difficulty breathing after a coughing bout, the presence of thick mucus, and a distinct “whoop” sound or gasping for breath between coughs.

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