After we arrived in Italy, Casey started to have cold like symptoms, and developed a mild cough.
I took her to a pharmacy two doors down from our rental apartment, and said, "La Bambina..." (Cough, Cough).
During the trip she seemed full of energy and had no problem keeping up with us, but the cough kept getting worse.
I started to get symptoms around the last day we were in Paris. Jane and Erin have developed symptoms since we arrived home. We all thought we just caught Casey's cold.
Last night, Jane was taking her to bed, and she started coughing really hard. Then it sounded like her lungs just clamped shut, and she couldn't breathe! Then she made this deep whooping noise as she gasped for air.
This morning I called Kaiser (our HMO), and made appointments for both myself and Casey.
The Doctor I saw didn't seem to even acknowledge that I thought I might be exposed to pertusis. She gave me prescriptions for cough medicine and nose spray.
Then I went to Pediatrics to find Jane and Casey. They were waiting in a room, and the doctor came in and told us that Casey, and the rest of us most likely have whooping cough. He wrote antibiotic perscriptions not only for Casey, but for me, Jane, Erin and Luis.
Casey can't go back to school until the Board of Health clears her.
Luckily for us, Whooping Cough is usually only fatal in children under one year of age. But, we may have symptoms for months. The antibiotics will keep us from giving it to someone else, but they won't shorten the duration, apparently nothing will.
I had a serious allergic reaction to my first DPT shot when I was a child, and they never finished the series on me. Our oldest son had a reaction, and our daughter Gretchen, who passed away had a near fatal reaction. So, we never let Erin or Casey have the part of the DPT that would prevent Whooping Cough.