2. Can pertussis testing be done in my doctor's office?
No. There is no simple, rapid diagnostic test for pertussis. It requires specialized equipment and is typically performed in laboratories. Not every laboratory performs this testing and samples may need to be sent to a public health laboratory.
The number of people affected has dropped since widespread vaccination was instituted in the United States. 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 are commonly tested for since the clinical presentation may be similar in people with either infection. There is no vaccine to prevent B. parapertussis infections.
This article was last reviewed on January 10, 2012. | This article was last modified on December 29, 2014.
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