How to Prevent & Treat Whooping Cough Naturally

Whooping Cough is the common name for Pertussis. The bacterium that causes Whooping Cough is called Bordetella pertussis. It colonizes in the lung epithelial cells. The bacterium contains a cytotoxin that paralyzes the hair like structures along the windpipe that are responsible for sweeping the bacteria out.

Whooping Cough paralyzes the windpipe, preventing the ability to cough up and eliminate the organism. When the patient coughs to expel the debris, there is no movement and the spastic cough results in difficulty inhaling. This is where the “whoop” sound comes from. The patient may suffer from coughing spells for two to three weeks and sometimes longer. Secondary bacterial pneumonia is the most common complication of whooping cough.

Whooping cough can start like a cold, with a runny nose, sneezing and tiredness, and then the cough develops. People with whooping cough should be quarantined until they have had at least five days of antibiotics or until 21 days after the cough began. There is a 1-2 week incubation period after exposed to droplets from the respiratory tract that easily infects others. Most deaths occur in young infants who are either unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated. The most common age groups that are coming down with pertussis are 11 years old through adulthood who have faded immunity.

Before there was a vaccine, whooping cough was one of the most common childhood diseases and a major cause of childhood deaths in the U.S. The vaccine, Diphtheria-Pertussis-Tetanus (DPT), originated in the 1940’s and by 1976 there were less than 30 cases of pertussis in the US. Our first noticeable reemergence of pertussis was in 1985. In the US, deaths from Whooping Cough were all infants under one year old. The number of deaths in 1996 was 4, in 2001 it was 17. From January to August his year (2012) there have been 21,000 reported cases of Whooping Cough with 13 deaths in infants 3 months or younger. The patterns for this year are in the graphic below.


In spite of the vaccine, 48 million people worldwide develop pertussis. The vaccine can last anywhere from 4-16 years. Vaccination dropped pertussis rate from 157 people out of 100,000 to 1 person in 100,000 by the 1970’s. Pertussis seems to make a reoccurring appearance in the United States that spikes every 3-5 years.

Prevention of Pertussis

  1. Create a strong immune system with Vitamin D3. The amount you need to take in is the amount that gives you blood levels of around 100.
  2. Stay hydrated and get lots of rest.
  3. Take probiotics daily.
  4. If you are susceptible to colds/coughs use products that specifically elevate your immune system like Immune Booster (powder or capsule) and ImmunO (Beta Glucan).

Treatment of Pertussis

  1. First line therapy is to hydrate in order to liquefy secretions. The reason for this is because Whooping Cough causes really thick, gluey secretions that are difficult to clear. Drinking lots of fluids is important but IV hydration is more effective.
  2. If receiving IV hydration there are antioxidants that de-inflame the body and homeopathic IV preparations that decrease the spasm of the cough. These should be done daily until the cough is gone.
  3. Bacteria die in oxygen rich environments. Hyperbaric oxygen (oxygen bath under pressure) treatments help the bacteria die off more quickly.
  4. A homeopathic preparation of pertussis has been used successfully as well to help the patient recover more quickly from pertussis.
  5. To treat the cough, Drocera is a homeopathic liquid that does not cause drowsiness or hyperactivity. In addition if the airway is tight consider Bronchi 5 Tincture. Dilute in juice as it is preserved in alcohol. You can sit a dose (3 droppers) in hot water so the alcohol is gone by the am or pm you are preparing for.
  6. Antibiotics that work against pertussis are Bactrim, Azithromycin, Clarithromycin and and Erythromycin.

There was an old form of DPT where the pertussis was a whole cell.  Now it is a-cellular (no live cell) which yields less immunization related disorders.  As a result of the whole cell strain, a National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act arose in 1986.  It says, “No vaccine manufacturer shall be liable … if the injury or death resulted from side effects that were unavoidable even though the vaccine was properly prepared and was accompanied by proper directions and warnings.” This Act provides a “no-fault compensation system” which protects vaccine manufacturers. After billions of dollars of lawsuits, drug manufacturers of the vaccines refused to make any more vaccine until this Act took place to protect them.

Moving from live cell to attenuated cell vaccine was a significant improvement of the vaccine – driven by public demand – and now the benefits outweigh the risks especially for infants.


dr_ramsey_4_15-13_cropDr. Theresa Ramsey is a practicing physician, speaker, lifestyle expert, author of the best selling book, Healing 101: A Guide to Creating the Foundation for Complete Wellness, and a weekly guest expert on Arizona’s top morning show, Your Life A to Z. Dr. Ramsey has been nominated Phoenix Magazine’s Top Doc for two years in a row and recently selected as an eHow.com health expert, as well as the 2012 Natural Choice Award winning Naturopathic Physician. As a nationally recognized speaker, she elegantly bridges the gap between Allopathic and Naturopathic medicine educating patients & physicians on the language of wellness and root causes to illness & dis-ease.

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