Misdiagnosis of Whooping Cough
Misdiagnosis of Whooping Cough
A diagnosis of the whooping cough is generally made from information obtained by taking a thorough health history, including symptoms and vaccination history, and performing a physical exam. Misdiagnosing whooping cough is possible because the symptoms, especially early symptoms, can be vague and similar to symptoms of other diseases. These include upper respiratory infection, cold, bronchitis, pneumonia, and influenza.
In addition, a diagnosis of whooping cough may be delayed or overlooked because it is often thought of as uncommon in the U.S....more about Whooping Cough »
Whooping Cough misdiagnosis:
Although uncommon in children due to vaccination programs (e.g. DTP or DTPa),
protection wears off after about 10 years.
Because of this, whooping cough is making a worldwide comeback and
is a surprisingly common cause of persistent cough in teens, adults and the elderly.
However, few adults seek treatment for the nagging cough,
believing it only to be an annoying cough from a common cold,
and hence whooping cough often remains undiagnosed.
Sadly this means that it can be spread by adults to infants in whom
it can be dangerous and even fatal....more about Whooping Cough »
Alternative diagnoses list for Whooping Cough:
For a diagnosis of Whooping Cough,
the following list of conditions
have been mentioned in sources
as possible alternative diagnoses
to consider during the diagnostic process for Whooping Cough:
Diseases for which Whooping Cough may be an alternative diagnosis
The other diseases for which Whooping Cough
is listed as a possible alternative
diagnosis in their lists include:
Whooping Cough: Medical Mistakes
Related medical mistakes may include:
Whooping Cough: Undiagnosed Conditions
Commonly undiagnosed conditions in related areas may include:
Common Misdiagnoses and Whooping Cough
Mild worm infections undiagnosed in children: Human worm infestations, esp. threadworm, can be overlooked in some cases,
because it may cause only mild or even absent symptoms.
Although the most common symptoms are anal itch (or vaginal itch),
which are obvious in severe cases,
milder conditions may fail to be noticed in children.
In particular, it may interfere with the child's good night's sleep.
Threadworm is a condition to consider in children with symptoms such as bedwetting (enuresis),
difficulty sleeping, irritability, or other sleeping symptoms.
Visual inspection of the region can often see the threadworms, at night when they are active,
but they can also be missed this way, and multiple inspections can be warranted if worms are suspected.
See the introduction to threadworm.
Antibiotics often causes diarrhea: The use of antibiotics are very likely
to cause some level of diarrhea in patients.
The reason is that antibiotics kill off not only "bad" bacteria,
but can also kill the "good" bacteria in the gut.
This leads to "digestive imbalance" where there are too few remaining "good"
bacteria in the digestive system.
The treatment is typically to use "probiotics", such as by eating yoghurt cultures
containing more of the good bacteria.
See digestive imbalance and probiotics.
Sinusitis is overdiagnosed: There is a tendency to give a diagnosis of sinusitis,
when the condition is really a harmless complication of another infection,
such as a common cold.
Whooping cough often undiagnosed: Although most children in the Western world have been
immunized against whooping cough (also called "pertussis"), this protection wears
off after about 15 years.
Thus, any teen or adult with a persistent cough may actually have whooping cough.
This is particularly dangerous for babies too young to be vaccinated,
and any un-vaccinated children.
Whooping cough can be fatal to an infant.
The cough symptoms of whooping cough is usually productive initially, but then
becomes a persistent dry cough, lasting up to 100 days.
Elderly grandparents may also be a reservoir of undiagnosed whooping cough.
Mesenteric adenitis misdiagnosed as appendicitis in children: Because appendicitis is one of the
more feared conditions for a child with abdominal pain, it can be over-diagnosed
(it can, of course, also fail to be diagnosed with fatal effect).
One of the most common misdiagnosed is for children with mesenteric adenitis
to be misdiagnosed as appendicitis.
Fortunately, thus misdiagnosis is usually less serious than the reverse failure to diagnose appendicitis.
Blood pressure cuffs misdiagnose hypertension in children: One known misdiagnosis issue
with hyperension, arises in relation to the simple equipment used to test blood pressure.
The "cuff" around the arm to measure blood pressure can simply be too small to accurately
test a child's blood pressure.
This can lead to an incorrect diagnosis of a child with hypertension.
The problem even has a name unofficially: "small cuff syndrome".
See misdiagnosis of hypertension.
Children with migraine often misdiagnosed: A migraine often fails to be
correctly diagnosed in pediatric patients.
These patients are not the typical migraine sufferers, but migraines can also occur in children.
See misdiagnosis of migraine or introduction to migraine.
Chronic lung diseases hard to diagnose: Some of the chronic lung diseases
are difficult to diagnose.
Even the well-knowns conditions such as asthma or lung cancer often fail to be diagnosed early.
Some of the chronic lung diseases with diagnostic difficulties
include asthma (perhaps surprisingly), COPD, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, cystic fibrosis, mesothelioma,
smoker's cough, AIDS-related respiratory conditions (see AIDS), chronic pneumonia, and other respiratory diseases.
Rare possibilities include diseases like psittacosis (bird-related lung infection).
See other types of chronic lung diseases.
Whooping Cough: Rare Types
Rare types of medical disorders and diseases in related medical areas:
Medical news summaries about misdiagnosis of Whooping Cough:
The following medical news items
are relevant to misdiagnosis of Whooping Cough:
Misdiagnosis and Whooping Cough deaths
Whooping Cough is a condition
that can possibly be deadly if misdiagnosed...more »
General Misdiagnosis Articles
Read these general articles with an overview of misdiagnosis issues.
When checking for a misdiagnosis of Whooping Cough
or confirming a diagnosis of Whooping Cough,
it is useful to consider what other
medical conditions might be possible misdiagnoses or other alternative
conditions relevant to diagnosis.
These alternate diagnoses of Whooping Cough may already have
been considered by your doctor or may need to be considered as possible
alternative diagnoses or candidates for misdiagnosis of Whooping Cough.
For a general overview of misdiagnosis issues for all diseases,
see Overview of Misdiagnosis.
» Next page: Undiagnosed Whooping Cough
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