Whooping Cough or Tall Tale?
February 17, 2009 10:31 AM Subscribe
Could my roommate really have whooping cough? Because I'm skeptical.
posted by anonymous to health & fitness (35 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm in college, and as soon as everyone returned from home for the spring semester, colds started spreading, as they tend to do. A cold started going around the suite in my dorm, luckily bypassing me.
Two of my suitemates have since had near-constant coughing. Both of them are the only two in the suite who smoke cigarettes, and it sounds to me like typical coughing fits exasperated by smoking so much.
One of the roommates went home over the weekend and upon returning told us he had been to the doctor and his doctor told him he had whooping cough. He went on to say how he was apparently "the first one in our generation to get it." I am not entirely sure what he means by that, but color me surprised; there's not much of a whoop to it, it's more of a shallow smoker's cough.
This roommate has a history of... story telling. He's fond of stretching the truth and of telling tall tales. Sometimes I’d just call it outright lying. Like during freshman year, when a rapper who was performing at our school apparently invited him into his limousine and he drank champagne with him. Or the time he drunkenly stumbled onto the lawn of the university’s president and had cigars with him. Or the time when he got into a friend’s car and "ten cop cars pulled up", and the friend whose car it was looks puzzled and says it was only one. You get the idea; the guy is constantly stumbling onto amazing and fantastic situations which few people can verify.
So needless to say I’m skeptical, and I want to know how likely is it that he has this? He’s not on any antibiotics, just CVS-brand robitussin. Another friend told me that he said this is because the doctor told him there was no need for antibiotics because he was already recovering.
IANAD, but the whole thing strikes me as fishy. Is it possible to have and recover from whooping cough without antibiotics? Wouldn’t the health department get involved? Isn’t whooping cough highly contagious? I feel like if he really had this then my university would be sending out notices and emails and making him stay in from class or something.
Please stick to the likelihood of my roommate having or not having this disease, instead of whether or not I should confront him about it or how to deal with it. I’ll handle that part myself, but right now I just want to know if this is Just Another Story or a reason to be concerned about my health.