This winter for the first time that I can remember I came across what the Chinese refer to as the “100 day cough”. In the western world it is known as whooping cough. The cases that I saw were either adults or teenagers. What was unique about the cough other than its longevity was the convulsive nature and the tendency to gag when coughing. Plus, it seemed to strike just 2 or 3 members in a family.
Since 1976, when a low of 1060 cases were reported, pertussis prevalence has risen to a 40-year high of 25,000 in 2004. Deaths among infants from pertussis increased from about 10 per year in the 1990s to about 20 per year in the 2000s. The cause of this rise is the fact that the immunizations imparts protection for only a limited time rather than a life time immunity that it was thought to impart 20 years ago.
I have had success in treating this cough with intravenous vitamins and homeopathy in some of the patients where as others had to wait out the 100 days.