How is pertussis diagnosed?

The doctor will perform a physical examination and ask questions about your or your child’s symptoms. A sample of nasal secretions may be taken by using a cotton swab to collect fluid from inside the nose. A sample can also be collected by filling a syringe with saline fluid and flushing the fluid through the nose and back of the throat. The samples will be analyzed for the presence of Bordetella bacteria. Blood tests may also be performed.

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