What are the indications for evaluating a patient with cough for pertussis?
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Pertussis should be considered in infants with apnea or severe coughing illnesses of any duration, and in older children or adults with prolonged cough (eg, longer than 2 weeks), especially if accompanied by inspiratory whoop or household exposure to a prolonged cough illness (strength of recommendation [SOR]: B, based on consecutive cohort studies with poor reference standards). Coughing paroxysms, posttussive vomiting, and absence of fever, while typical of pertussis, are of little help in distinguishing it from other causes of prolonged coughing illnesses (SOR: B, based on consecutive cohort studies with poor reference standards).
Journal of Family Practice, 54(1) 2005: 74-76.