Delays in diagnosing pertussis remain frequent in adults
Delays in diagnosing pertussis are frequent and may hinder the response to outbreaks, according to a study.
Researchers used longitudinal retrospective insurance claims databases to identify patients’ visits with pertussis-related symptoms before being diagnosed with pertussis and treated with a macrolide antibiotic. Researchers estimated the number of visits representing a delay, the number of missed diagnostic opportunities per patient, and the duration of delays.
There were data from 20,828 patients included in the study, with an average of approximately 2 missed diagnostic opportunities. The diagnostic delay was 12 days.
In patients <2 years of age, the duration of delays averaged 5.6 days; this increased to 13.8 days for patients ≥18 years of age.
Factors associated with increased risk of delays included emergency department visits, telehealth visits, and recent prescriptions for antibiotics not effective against pertussis.
Evans NJ, Arakkal AT, Cavanaugh JE, et al. The incidence, duration, risk factors, and age-based variation of missed opportunities to diagnose pertussis: A population-based cohort study. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2023;1-8. doi: 10.1017/ice.2023.31. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36919206.