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How is whooping cough (pertussis) diagnosed?

The namesake cough of whooping cough aids in diagnosis; sometimes the only diagnostic tool involves your doctor asking questions. Your doctor may also take a nose or throat culture. If you have been sick for several weeks, the culture may return negative. The doctor may test for an elevated white-cell count or take a chest x-ray to confirm the diagnosis.

Continue Learning about Whooping Cough

Can I Develop Whooping Cough (Pertussis) as an Adult?
Can I Develop Whooping Cough (Pertussis) as an Adult?
People of all ages can get whooping cough (pertussis). Watch Darria Long-Gillespie, MD, explain how symptoms can be different for adults and children,...
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How could whooping cough (pertussis) spread to my child?
Dr. James D. Fortenberry, MDDr. James D. Fortenberry, MD
Pertussis is very contagious (spreads easily from one person to another). It spreads through the air...
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Does whooping cough (pertussis) affect children differently than adults?
Dale M. Valentine, MDDale M. Valentine, MD
Whooping cough or pertussis can cause a very irritating cough that can last for months in adults. So...
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How Effective Are Pertussis (Whooping Cough) Vaccines?
How Effective Are Pertussis (Whooping Cough) Vaccines?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.