Whooping cough, also known as “pertussis,” is a highly contagious, acute respiratory illness characterized by fits of coughing and caused by the bacteria Bordetella pertussis. Whooping cough, a communicable, potentially deadly illness characterized by fits of coughing followed by a noisy, “whooping” indrawn breath. It is caused by the bacteria Bordetella pertussis. The illness is most likely to affect young children, but sometimes appears in teenagers and adults, even those who have been previously immunized. Immunization with DPT (diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus) vaccine provides protection, although that immunity may wear off with age. In adolescents or adults with history of prior infection or vaccine-induced immunity, classic manifestations may or may not occur. The only symptom may be prolonged cough.
During the early phase of pertussis, antibiotic treatment may decrease the duration and severity of cough, but, among adolescents and adults, the diagnosis is rarely established during this phase. Antibiotic treatment later in the course of disease probably does not affect the course of symptoms, but may be useful to reduce the spread of the infection. Treatment is usually supportive therapy. See DPT immunization, DTaP immunization.
- Wiedemann-Beckwith syndrome
- Wildervanck syndrome
A syndrome characterized by the combination of congenital deafness, Duane syndrome (eye retraction), and fusion of the neck vertebrae (Klippel-Feil anomaly). Wildervanck syndrome is limited, or almost completely limited, to females. The syndrome is probably due to polygenic inheritance with limitation to females and lethality for males.
- Wilkins, Lawson
American physician (1894-1963) who founded pediatric endocrinology. At Johns Hopkins Medical School in Baltimore, Dr Wilkins started a clinic devoted to pediatric endocrinology and focused particularly on problems of growth and genetics.
- Will, living
An advance medical directive that specifies what types of medical treatment are desired. A living will can be very specific or very general. The most common statement in a living will requests that if the patient suffers an incurable, irreversible illness
- Williams syndrome
A genetic disorder characterized by mild mental retardation, unique personality characteristics, unusual facial features, and cardiovascular disease. The level of calcium tends to be high in blood (hypercalcemia) and urine (hypercalciuria). Mental retardation is the rule and ranges from severe to mild. Personality features include overfriendliness, general anxiety, and attention deficit disorder. Facial features include […]