2. Can pertussis testing be done in my doctor's surgery?
No. There is no simple, rapid diagnostic test for pertussis. It requires specialised equipment and is typically performed in laboratories. Not every laboratory performs this testing – samples may need to be sent to a specialist laboratory.
3. Why did my doctor report my child's pertussis infection?
Doctors are required to report pertussis to their local Department of Public Health. Outbreaks are tracked and interventions, such as vaccination and appropriate antimicrobial therapy, can be used to stop the outbreak.
The number of people affected has dropped since widespread vaccination was instituted in the United Kingdom. Infants are routinely vaccinated, reducing the population who are susceptible. Pertussis outbreaks are sporadic instead of seasonal like influenza and RSV and may be underreported and under-diagnosed, especially in adults who may not seek treatment when they have cold symptoms or a persistent cough.
5. My doctor said I have Bordetella parapertussis. Is this the same as whooping cough?
B. parapertussis is a bacterium that can infect humans in the same manner as B. pertussis, but the infection usually causes a milder respiratory illness. Culture methods and PCR tests can detect and distinguish B. parapertussis from B. pertussis, and both agents are commonly tested for since the clinical presentation may be similar in patients with either infection. There is no vaccine to prevent B. parapertussis infections.
This article was last reviewed on 27 October 2014. | This article was last modified on 27 October 2014.
The review date indicates when the article was last reviewed from beginning to end to ensure that it reflects the most current science. A review may not require any modifications to the article, so the two dates may not always agree.
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