Respiratory Disorders Forum
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Avatar universal


hi i am christy, i have a cough, but not just any cough. i started with a cough in september, and after 2 or 3 weeks of a really strange cough, i finally went to the dr. (i have no health insurance) he took a chest xray (it was okay) and prescribed me some antibiotics, i took them for a week and they had dont nothing, so he then changed me to avelox and added prednisone to the mix, another two weeks went by and still coughing terribly, at this point i am also doing breathing treatments (albuterol) 3-5 times a day even though they make me feel weird.  so in the first week of october i went back he took anther xray said i had pneumonia and sent me to the hospital, they said i didnt after two days there and i did have elevated white cells, but they said that could be from the steroids.  while th4ere iw as treated with levaquin, prednisone and breathing treatments.  anyway it is now almost february, i have been treated for everything from bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, allergies, and pertussis.  nothing helps, i really think i do have pertussis but know one has actually done a test to confirm or deny this, i am scheduled in with a pulminologist on 02/17/06 but am afraid they are going to tell me i have pertussis and will just have to wait it out, and i am already way over my head in debt as it is, and really dont need to add another dr bill to the mix.  note; my cough sounds very much like whooping cough with the deep gasp for air, leaving me breathless,,,,,anyway have any suggestions or information i would really appreciate it...christy
5 Responses
251132 tn?1198082422
Pertussis, commonly called whooping cough, is not as common in adults as in children because of the vaccinations you may have received in childhood.  It is a good idea to see the pulmonologist to determine the cause of the cough and work on clearing up the problem.  You are right, however, if this is whooping cough there is little he will do.  Other causes of the cough could be asthma, a sinus infection, bronchitis or other infection of the lungs.  A good physical examination and some tests should provide you with the answers you need.
Avatar universal
wow, i almost had to check the name as i thought this was my post.....your symotoms sound almost identical to mine, and even started round' the same time as your sympoms...read my thread, as it may help...."hypersensative pneumonitis". i hear ya about the dr. bills...the copayments alone are killing me;  i wasnt diagnosed until they did a ct of my lungs. see what the pulm. says..he may order one. feel better!
Avatar universal
I am a microbiology technologist. If they do decide to culture for pertussis, it MUST be a thin wire swab taken in your nasopharyngeal area (back part of your nose). A nostril swab is an improper specimen and will be rejected by the laboratory. These cultures take at least seven days to incubate before they're called negative. Most laboratories send them to a reference laboratory. Proper transport media must also be used for these specimens. If you don't tip your head way back when they take the specimen, it's not done correctly.

That being said, I really don't know if it would grow anyway considering all the antibiotics you've been on. Antibiotics don't necessarily treat pertussis very well. It unfortunately can go on and on and on. The danger comes from the fact that if you DO have it, and come in contact with an infant who is not immunized (or a newborn who hasn't had shots yet) this can be a serious or fatal illness for them.

Do NOT visit small infants or unvaccinated children until you determine what exactly is causing your illness.

Good luck.
Avatar universal
The main thing is that you get it diagnoses. Most Drs. today have never even seen a case of whooping cough. Yours does sound like it and it is making a comeback. The problem is that it is highly contagious I understand so you would not want to be exposing people. By now you should have had an answer, I guess.
Avatar universal
Pertussis would not usually last this long.  Also once you have been on antibiotic treatment for whichever is prescribed, 10 days or 5 days you would no longer be contagious. Usually adults do not have the "whooping sound" after the cough such as a child may have.
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Find out what causes asthma, and how to take control of your symptoms.
Healing home remedies for common ailments
Tricks to help you quit for good.
Is your area one of the dirtiest-air cities in the nation?
A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.
Here’s how your baby’s growing in your body each week.