CDC probes root of false whooping cough cases

08/23/2007 | Boston Globe (tiered subscription model), The

Health officials report that false test results led to the misdiagnosis of whooping cough in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Tennessee, which prompted thousands to take antibiotics unnecessarily. The most accurate testing for whooping cough requires about a week to grow the pertussis bacteria from a patient sample, therefore health authorities often turn to a faster testing method that can lead to uneven and false results. The CDC is planning a study to improve and standardize the method of faster testing.

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