Friday, September 7, 2012

Pertussis - Whooping Cough

So, I know I said I'd post about the nursery next, but I wanted to post this little gem first before I forget and hey, you get two posts out of me instead of one!  :)

A lady at work may or may not have/had whooping cough for the past three weeks at work.  Conflicting stories from her about whether or not she had the test done has every one in panic mode.  As does her coughing fits in the staircase, breakroom and bathrooms with an uncovered mouth.  We've all complained to our manager about her coughing fits and how horrible it is and to his credit, he sent her home twice in the past three weeks.  I felt awful for her b/c she sounds like she is dying, I kid you not.  Yesterday though, it got bad.  She was so sick, she was coughing up blood in one of the downstairs bathrooms and the right people got together and it created the perfect storm of drama, panic and gossip.  Before the poor girl could blink, one of the other managers (who is terrified of germs) sent her home indefinitely and had called a serious meeting w/ all the managers to decide how to proceed.  This turned into upper management contacting the health department, researching information on the CDC's website, etc.

I got a call late last night from the CEO asking me how I felt, if I had any symptoms and if I would be willing to work from home for a few days to keep me and the baby safe.  They realize, I think, that it's a little too late to be keeping me home since my coworker has been spewing germs all over the place for three weeks (did your mother teach you to cover your mouth?  MINE DID!) but it was a nice sentiment nonetheless.   So, I'm working from home the next few days while they work out what to do.

They sent her back to the doctor and made her get the test today, because apparently, she never had it due to something that happened with the lab and the doc told her she wasn't contagious anymore anyway b/c she'd been on antibiotics for five days.  Blah, blah, blah.  My boss's want to know if we've all been exposed because the incubation period is apparently 14-21 days and they want everyone to be prepared for a possible "outbreak".  Let's hope that she didn't have it and we don't have to worry about it.

Pertussis Gate 2012



  1. Holy crap! My husband would have a complete OCD breakdown! LOL. I'm not kidding. He works with the DNA of diseases and stuff, so he's a complete psycho about it. I'd be freaked out too, but he would lose it, like possibly drink clorox type of losing it. LOL. Well, coughing up blood is definitely a BIG RED DANGER sign. Only a few things come to mind... pertussis, really advanced pneumonia, cancer, and tuberculosis. None of which are good. Hope you didn't catch anything... and I hope your co-worker finds a new doctor, because it sounds like hers is a complete idiot. Coughing up blood does not equal antibiotics and go back to work. Sheesh.

  2. Ugh, that sucks! I work in a medical office, and we saw one case of whooping cough last winter, and you'd better believe i was using the hand sanitizer like crazy!!

  3. I just heard a lady who now sits on the other side of my cubicle wall claimed her daughter and husband had it last year, but she did not. She has been coughing like a nut for 2 weeks now, and claimed it was allergies the other day and can't afford her med. THEN, I am a freak about cathing other's sickness' and confronted her yesterday. I told her if it were allergies she should spend the money to take the RX not just at night but during workdays because it is frustration to listen to her and (mind you listen to it in call center) while on a call with a client. She went on to say she had surgery and now has drainage which is why she is coughing. Mind you, last week it was a dry cough and now it is a more congested sounding cough. This morning, however, she claimed she purchased her medicine - After confronting her this morning she was aggravated that I confronted her and told me yes, infact her daughter and husband had it last year and she did not " it was a year ago and I never got it"... OMG!!!! So, she still claims it is allergies.... guess I have to go to Dr. AGAIN after seeing him for other things last week. Sigh - so freakin scared!

  4. Did you have your Tdap shot? I get mine at my 22 week visit, and I will probably badger the spouse to get one too even though the spouse had one previously because EEEEP. You can get the Tdap shot any time post-second trimester and all pregnant ladies should have had one, and if there's a known risk (like you live in an outbreak area) even if you had one before, you need another.