Is the whooping cough/pertussis swab 100% accurate? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 7 Old 11-23-2012, 10:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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To make a long story short, DS who is 1 yo came down with a cold that went away and then turned into a cough that got REALLY bad at around 2 weeks. Coughing so hard he was throwing up balls of mucous, and even whooping at the end of a coughing bout. At around the 2 week mark he also got a extremely congested in his nose.

We took him to the docs who ordered a nasal swab test for pertussis. The test took 4 days to come back, so in the meantime I upped DSs vitamin C levels and consulted with a Homeopathic Doc who prescribed Spongia Tosta. ... Which worked like magic and instantly relieved the hard coughing bouts.

4 days later the test comes back negative. Anyone know how accurate this test is after full blown symptoms have surfaced? I've never seen anything like what DS was doing, coughing so extremely hard, and the amount of mucous was unbelievable.

We are still dealing with a clear runny nose on and off and an occasional phlegmy cough which leads me to believe it has to be pertussis since it's been 4 weeks and he is not 100% better yet.

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#2 of 7 Old 11-25-2012, 10:57 AM
 
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http://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/clinical/diagnostic-testing/diagnosis-confirmation.html
 

I'm guessing the nasal swab is the culture test?

 

 

"Culture

Since culture has excellent specificity, it is particularly useful for confirming pertussis diagnosis when an outbreak is suspected. Many other respiratory pathogens have similar clinical symptoms to pertussis and co-infections do occur.  Furthermore, obtaining isolates from culture allows for strain identification and antimicrobial resistance testing. Identifying which strains of B. pertussis are causing disease is of public health importance. Culture is best done from nasopharyngeal (NP) specimens collected during the first 2 weeks of cough when viable bacteria are still present in the nasopharynx.  After the first 2 weeks, sensitivity is decreased and the risk of false-negatives increases rapidly."


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#3 of 7 Old 11-25-2012, 05:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We just got a second swab done last night. So, we'll see. We are in week 3 or 4 of symptoms, so I dunno. 


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#4 of 7 Old 12-10-2012, 12:29 PM
 
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I know this is an old thread but the swab is not accurate in the coughing phase. It is far more accurate in the prodromal phase when it seems like you just have a cold. I think its pretty obvious from the symptoms you have described that it is WC


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#5 of 7 Old 12-10-2012, 04:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Marnica View Post

I know this is an old thread but the swab is not accurate in the coughing phase. It is far more accurate in the prodromal phase when it seems like you just have a cold. I think its pretty obvious from the symptoms you have described that it is WC

Thanks Marnica. They did a second swab...called a PCR...and that too came out negative, but my goodness......what happened in this household was classic pertussis symptoms. I wish I knew for sure. 


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#6 of 7 Old 12-11-2012, 12:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AprilM View Post

Thanks Marnica. They did a second swab...called a PCR...and that too came out negative, but my goodness......what happened in this household was classic pertussis symptoms. I wish I knew for sure.

I think you do! Of course the second swab was negative a month after onset of coughing!!


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#7 of 7 Old 12-11-2012, 06:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Marnica View Post

I think you do! Of course the second swab was negative a month after onset of coughing!!

Thank you for the sign of confirmation. :-) His peds said the PCR was some kind of pertussis DNA test and it was really accurate. I kept asking if they would do a blood antibody test, but they said they didn't do that. I am going to have to just go with my gut here and say, yep, it was pertussis. 

 

One really awesome thing, and I might start a new thread about this, was that a classical homeopath was able to stop the hard cough in it's tracks an pretty much put an end to the illness, except for some phlegm and runny nose. It was amazing and I am so grateful we turned to homeopathy. 

 

Both my boys got hit again with a second virus after that, so I don't know what that would have been like for the baby if he was still in the throws of pertussis.


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