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Lab test wrong on pertussis

August 27, 2007|From Times Wire Reports

A reported boom in U.S. whooping cough cases is being questioned after health officials discovered a regularly used lab test misdiagnosed cases in suspected outbreaks in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Tennessee. The errors were reported Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Pertussis, or whooping cough, is a potentially fatal bacterial respiratory infection. Government health officials say cases have tripled in the United States since 2001. Nearly half of the cases were diagnosed with the testing method now called into question, raising doubts about the true number of cases.

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