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Rev Med Suisse. 2006 Feb 22;2(54):503-6, 509-11.

[Whooping cough: a diagnosis one shouldn't forget].

[Article in French]

Author information

Service et Département de pédiatrie Maladies infectieuses pédiatriques, Hôpital des Enfants (HUG), 1211 Geneve 14.


Reports of whooping cough, due to Bordetella pertussis, have been increasing worldwide for the last two decades in all age groups. Infants are especially at risk for severe disease, but older children and adolescents can have a great disease burden as well. Diagnosing pertussis is difficult due to atypical symptoms, and frequent lack of laboratory confirmation. This article reviews the reasons for epidemiologic changes, clinical manifestations, diagnostic tools, treatment and prevention strategies, especially vaccination which will most certainly focus in the future on decreasing susceptible pools by immunizing adolescents and young adults. This strategy would not only protect these individuals from whooping cough, but most importantly protect, by herd immunity, the infants too young to be (fully) immunized.

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