Pertussis Information for Health Care Providers

Pertussis poster for clinician officesProviders are asked to maintain a high index of suspicion for pertussis for clinical diagnosis, testing, treating, providing prophylaxis, and to report cases to the Health Department.

The Vermont Department of Health has issued Health Alerts to health care providers about an increase in the number of pertussis cases.

Guidelines for Managing Pertussis

Diagnosis

Consider pertussis in your differential diagnosis when patients show clinical symptoms.

Pertussis Algorithm for clinical evaluation and management of cases and/or contacts.

Pertussis Clinical Information (adapted from Minnesota Department of Health)

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Laboratory Testing

Testing for B. pertussis is available at the Health Department Laboratory.

Request VDH Kit #5 for proper collection and transport materials. Culture testing (no charge) or culture/PCR testing ($36) can be requested. Culture results are available within seven days of receipt at the Health Department Laboratory, and PCR is performed on Mondays and Thursdays.

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Treatment

On March 12, 2013, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning that azithromycin can cause abnormal changes in the electrical activity of the heart that may lead to a potentially fatal irregular heart rhythm in some patients. Azithromycin remains one of the recommended drugs for treatment and chemoprophylaxis of pertussis, but consider using an alternative drug in those who have known cardiovascular disease, including:

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Stop Transmission

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Vaccines

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