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Public Health Professionals

There are resources located throughout this website that are especially relevant to public health professionals. Listed below are key resources.

Case Definition

Pertussis cases are reported by states to CDC through the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS). Both probable and confirmed cases should be reported nationally. Read more about the pertussis case definition.

Surveillance Reports

Pertussis surveillance report

Pertussis reporting data are summarized each year in provisional and final reports. See recent surveillance reports.

Reporting Trends

Pertussis is nationally-notifiable and cases should be reported to the appropriate health department. Pertussis cases are reported by states to CDC through NNDSS. Although many pertussis cases are not diagnosed and therefore not reported, the surveillance system is useful for monitoring epidemiologic trends. View historic and recent reporting trends.

Postexposure Antimicrobial Prophylaxis

The primary objective of postexposure antimicrobial prophylaxis (PEP) should be to prevent death and serious complications from pertussis in individuals at increased risk of severe disease. Learn more about PEP for pertussis.

Letter of Guidance for Use during Outbreaks

This draft letter can be adapted for use during pertussis outbreaks in schools or other closed or contained settings. View the letter of guidance.

Specimen Collection

Determining who has pertussis can be difficult. Whenever possible, a nasopharyngeal (NP) swab or aspirate should be obtained from all suspected cases. A properly obtained NP swab or aspirate is essential for optimal results. Learn more about and watch videos demonstrating how to perform specimen collection.

Diagnosis Confirmation

Several types of laboratory tests are commonly used for the diagnosis of Bordetella pertussis. Culture is considered the gold standard because it is the only 100% specific method for identification. Other tests that can be performed include polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and serology. Read more about the diagnosis and confirmation of pertussis.

Surveillance Manual

The Manual for the Surveillance of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases provides current guidelines for those directly involved in surveillance of vaccine-preventable diseases, especially personnel at state and local health departments. View the pertussis chapter.

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