If you are concerned and your children are having problems breathing and then severe vomiting during the attacks, going to the children's hospital is a good idea. The worst they can do is send you home, but you will be reassured. If the vomiting is a problem with hydration, they may hospitalize your children just to keep up their nutrition and fluids. With a 2 month old, this is a common occurrence.
Whooping cough is unlikely, especially if your child has been vaccinated on schedule. The more likely explaination is that it is a viral croup which is quite common in children age 6mo to 3 years.
Unfortunately there is no treatment for viral URI. As you are aware, the swelling and irritation of the larynx are responsible for the cough and difficulty breathing.
The only management is supportive. I've heard that a humidifier in the childs room can be helpful. The symptoms should start to subside shortly after the first few days.
If you suspect that your child cannot breathe, notice the lips turning bluish or the child becomes extremely lethargic and weak you should of course take him to the emergency room.
But to answer your question, if he were to be admitted to the hospital now, they probably wouldnt do too much more than what your are already doing now.
I am a medical technologist in microbiology and have been for 32 years. Speaking for the laboratory, please realize this fact: most microbiology laboratories must send out these specimens. Bordatella pertussis is a slow grower that requires special media, which most labs do not stock. I work in a large laboratory that does the work for four hospitals and we get only 1-2 requests per week. We do culture for it. Each time we must make up special plates. Once the plates are made up, the specimen is plated and then held 7 days before calling it negative. The organism just doesn't grow quickly. That's reality. The clinic cannot make a report appear out of the air. Bacteria are living organisms that take their good old time about growing. They are fussy and the right specimen (hopefully a full nasopharyngeal specimen taken from the back of the nose with a thin wire swab, and not just a cotton swab in the nostril) must be taken. B. pertussis lives in the NP area (back of the nose) and not in the nostrils. A throat specimen can be taken, but NP is by far the best. Some labs reject anything but an NP swab.
Outbreaks of whooping cough are happening sporadically all over the country. You must take the child's symptoms into consideration and not wait for a lab diagnosis. If the child is turning blue, losing weight, etc. you MUST take action and take the child to the ER immediately. From what I've heard, the disease is difficult to eradicate even with antibiotic treatment. There is no magic bullet other than inoculation for this disease. If the child is very small, the passive immunity acquired from the mom may be outgrown.
http://www.cdc.gov/nip/publications/VIS/vis-dtp.pdf This gives information on the vaccine. Looks like 2 months is when the series is started.
If you do decide to take him to the ER, make SURE you tell the triage nurse your doc's suspicions, as they can put your child in an isolation room. This bug is extremely contagious to the uninoculated or underinoculated. The reservoir hosts for this disease are postulated to be late teens and early twenty-somethings whose shots have worn off.
There is a LOT of information on the CDC's site above.
B_Johnson, there are currently pertussis outbreaks in the U.S. The symptoms of the two month old fit with pertussis, at least from what I've read. This is NOT an ancient disease - there are outbreak foci in the US as we speak.
As far as treatment, check out this page:
It has dosages for all age groups of different antibiotics.
My mother, who is now 84, recounts when she and her siblings all had the disease. I have no idea how old she was at the time. She was the oldest of four. She said my grandmother had a bucket in the backyard they all had to vomit into when the coughing started. Apparently they all had it. They were in quarantine. It obviously was ugly. Vaccination is the only way this disease can be kept in check, as it is dangerous for infants.
Good luck. Keep pushing your doc if what he's prescribed doesn't fit the guidelines, assuming that this is what your kids have.
have they checked your baby for rsv? they do so with a nasal swab too....rsv is a virus usually during the winter months.....i hope all is well good luck