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Pertussis / Whooping Cough (Bordetella pertussis)
2010 Case Definition

NOTE: A surveillance case definition is a set of uniform criteria used to define a disease for public health surveillance. Surveillance case definitions enable public health officials to classify and count cases consistently across reporting jurisdictions. Surveillance case definitions are not intended to be used by healthcare providers for making a clinical diagnosis or determining how to meet an individual patient’s health needs.

CSTE Position Statement(s)

  • 09-ID-51

Case Classification

Probable

In the absence of a more likely diagnosis, a cough illness lasting ≥2 weeks, with at least one of the following symptoms:

  • Paroxysms of coughing; OR
  • Inspiratory "whoop"; OR
  • Post-tussive vomiting; AND
  • Absence of laboratory confirmation; AND
  • No epidemiologic linkage to a laboratory-confirmed case of pertussis.

Confirmed

  • Acute cough illness of any duration, with isolation of B. pertussis from a clinical specimen; OR
  • Cough illness lasting ≥2 weeks, with at least one of the following symptoms:
    • Paroxysms of coughing; OR
    • Inspiratory "whoop"; OR
    • Post-tussive vomiting; AND
    • Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) positive for pertussis;
OR
  • Illness lasting ≥2 weeks, with at least one of the following symptoms:
    • Paroxysms of coughing; OR
    • Inspiratory "whoop"; OR
    • Post-tussive vomiting; AND
    • Contact with a laboratory-confirmed case of pertussis.

Comments

The clinical case definition above is appropriate for endemic or sporadic cases. In outbreak settings, a case may be defined as a cough illness lasting at least 2 weeks (as reported by a health professional).



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