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Paper Chase #2 | Symptoms of Pertussis in Adults vs Children

Nate Finnerty, MD and Brett Ebeling, MD
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Bottom Line: In adult patients, the presence of whooping or posttussive vomiting can rule in a possible diagnosis of pertussis, whereas the lack of a paroxysmal cough or the presence of fever should rule it out. In children, posttussive vomiting is less helpful.

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David S. -

Great timing with this paper! I am living through a pertussis outbreak in western North Carolina at the moment. There is a lot of confusion as to who has been exposed, especially considering that several of the local schools have had multiple positive cases. Though this kind of makes the water a bit murkier, it is good to know I can't really rely on those classic pertussis symptoms for all of the kiddos who have been or potentially been exposed. Cheers!

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