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All about whooping cough (Pertussis) causes of whooping cough (Pertussis) symptoms of whooping cough diagnosis of whooping cough treatment for whooping cough prevention of whooping cough (pertussis)

How is whooping cough diagnosed?

The initial diagnosis of whooping cough is usually based on the symptoms. To know for sure, the health care provider may

take a swab of nasal secretions, grow a culture for a week or more, and then test for pertussis. This can be an accurate way of confirming a pertussis diagnosis, but the results are obtained after treatment has probably begun. Thus, the culture has limited usefulness. Other viruses and tuberculosis infections can cause symptoms similar to those found during the paroxysmal stage. The presence of a pertussis-like cough along with an increase of certain specific white blood cells (lymphocytes) is suggestive of pertussis (whooping cough). However, cough can occur from other pertussis-like viruses. The most accurate method of diagnosis is to culture (grow on a laboratory plate) the organisms obtained from swabbing mucus out of the nasopharynx (the breathing tube continuous with the nose). B. pertussis can then be identified by examining the culture under a microscope. The swabbed nasal secretions can be tested more quickly several other ways. One test, called PCR, is quick and reliable but is a newer test that may be less widely available. An older test, called the DFA (direct fluorescent assay), gives quick results but is not as reliable. Some patients may have a complete blood count that shows large numbers of lymphocytes (lymphocytosis). Under 6 months of age, and particularly under 4 months, the main condition that mimics pertussis is pneumonia due to chlamydia trachomatis infection.

More information on whooping cough (Pertussis)

What is whooping cough (Pertussis)? - Whooping cough (pertussis) is a highly contagious bacterial infection of the upper respiratory system. The infection is spread through the air by droplets.
What causes whooping cough (Pertussis)? - Whooping cough is caused by a bacteria called Bordatella pertussis. Whooping cough can affect people of any age.
What're the symptoms of whooping cough (Pertussis)? - Symptoms of whooping begins with a cold and a mild cough. Severe coughing spells can lead to vomiting.
How is whooping cough diagnosed? - The most accurate method of diagnosis of whooping cough is to culture the organisms obtained from swabbing mucus out of the nasopharynx.
What is the treatment for whooping cough? - The symptoms of whooping cough can be treated with antibiotics including erythromycin, tetracyclines, amoxicillin.
How to prevent whooping cough (pertussis)? - A DTaP vaccine (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis) or pertussis-only vaccine helps protect children against whooping cough (pertussis).
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All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005, health-cares.net, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005