Whooping-cough is one of the most distressing diseases of childhood, although it has been observed in adults. It seldom occurs before the sixth month of life, nor is it frequent after the eighth year. Second attacks are exceedingly rare. Barthez and Rilliet mention a case occurring on the day after birth, the mother having had the disease four weeks previously. Bouchet mentions a case infected on the second day of life, developing on the eighth. Keating records a case of a child born with the disease. Steiner has seen it between the second and third weeks.
The pathology of the disease is unsettled, but it appears to be a catarrh of the respiratory organs, combined with an affection of the respiratory nerves, rather than a pure neurosis. This unsettled pathology has led to the employment of remedies without number. Among them may be mentioned hydrocyanic acid, potassium bromide, ammonium bromide,
ELIOT L. NARCEINE IN WHOOPING-COUGH.. JAMA. 1887;VIII(4):92–93. doi:10.1001/jama.1887.02391290008002d
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