Which illnesses mimic clinical pertussis (whooping cough)?

Updated: May 02, 2019
  • Author: Joseph J Bocka, MD; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Answer

Illnesses that mimic clinical pertussis include the following:

  • Adenoviral respiratory infection - Children present with fever, sore throat, and conjunctivitis

  • Mycoplasmal pneumonia - Patients with mycoplasmal infections have more pronounced systemic symptoms, fever and headache may occur, and rales may be appreciated on chest auscultation

  • Chlamydial pneumonia - Young infants with chlamydial infections present with staccato cough, purulent conjunctival discharge, tachypnea, rales, and wheezing

  • Respiratory syncytial virus infection - Patients present with predominantly lower respiratory tract signs (eg, wheezing, rales)


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