Baby and Toddler,  Parenting News

What is the 100 day cough?

Parent treating crying sick baby

At this time of year, winter illnesses are making the rounds so you may have heard ‘the 100 day cough’ being mentioned. So, what is it, and what precautions can you take? If you or family members have it, how can you treat it? Read on for the answers. 

What is the 100 day cough? 

More commonly known as Pertussis, or Whooping Cough, this is a bacterial infection which targets the respiratory system and causes severe coughing fits. Those most at risk are babies, young children, older people and pregnant women.  It’s an ailment that can last for weeks (hence the name; ‘100 day cough’) so prevention is key. 


One of the most effective ways to prevent pertussis is through vaccination. The TDaP (Tetanus, Diphtheria and acellular Pertussis) vaccine is routinely administered during infancy and childhood. Boosters are recommended for adolescents and adults. The Whooping Cough vaccine is also offered during pregnancy (between 16 and 36 weeks) so if you are expecting and haven’t yet been offered it, ask your doctor for information about it. It is designed to help protect your baby in the first months of life. 

Maintain good hygiene 

Pertussis can spread through respiratory droplets so it’s important to wash hands thoroughly and often. Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing and dispose of tissues. Keep anti-bacterial gel handy and use it often.  

Use an Air Purifier  

An Air purifier can help to reduce the spread of disease in the home. Choose one with a medical grade HEPA 13 filter, and ozone free, which is safe for use with babies. 

The ClevaPure3 HEPA 13 Air Purifier removes 99.95% of airborne impurities from the air, including bacteria and viruses. It will also remove irritants such as dust, smoke and pet dander, which can trigger coughing. By using an Air Purifier in the home, you can help to create a cleaner, healthier indoor environment for your family, and reduce the risk of illness.  

Symptoms of 100 day cough 

If you do get the 100 day cough, early treatment is key, particularly in babies. Here are the symptoms to watch out for: 

  • Runny nose 
  • Sore throat 
  • Mild fever 
  • Gradually worsening cough 
  • Breathing difficulties (in babies) 


Antibiotics are the first line of treatment against whooping cough/pertussis but treatment within the first three weeks is key. If you suspect whooping cough, see your doctor in the first 3 weeks and get an antibiotic. This will kill the bacterial infection and help speed recovery, but you may still have the cough for some time.  

Treating the cough 

Unfortunately, over the counter medicines will not help with whooping cough. Medical experts recommend rest and plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. You can help to ease the cough with chamomile tea (an anti-spasmodic) and honey and lemon in hot water. Note: Honey should not be given to babies under 12 months.

Using a humidifier such as the ClevaPure Salt Lamp & Humidifier will help to keep the air moist which can help to reduce coughing. 

Use an Air Purifier to remove irritants from the air such as secondhand smoke, dust and pet dander. Do not use at the same time as the humidifier. 

Babies and young children 

It’s important to be vigilant and seek early treatment of pertussis for babies and young children so if they are unwell and you suspect pertussis, contact your GP/Medical professional immediately. Even if it turns out to be just a mild cold, it’s always best to be sure.  

Sources: HSE/CDC/MyDoc. 

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