The disease known as whooping cough has been described under a multiplicity of names. Willis (1622-1675) named it "tussis convulsiva," while Sydenham (1624-1689) called it "pertussis," which means a violent cough of any kind. There are other Latin names, the most striking among them being "quinta," "paroxysmes quintes" and "quintana." It is possible that these came to be used because the cough was observed to return every five hours. Other countries have their own descriptive terms. Besides the familiar name "whooping cough" we have in English "hooping cough," "kick cough," "kink cough," or simply "the kink," and the frequently used expression "chin cough." In Austria the disease is spoken of colloquially as "Stickhusten" (stick cough) or "Krampfhusten" (cramp cough). In Bavaria pertussis is called "Blauhusten" (blue cough).
Whooping cough cannot be definitely traced back further than the middle of the sixteenth century. It seems certain that Galen knew nothing of
ABT IA. TREATMENT OF WHOOPING COUGH: A STUDY IN THE HISTORY OF THERAPEUTICS. Am J Dis Child. 1934;48(3):617–629. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1934.01960160139012
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