Caution urged over kids' cough tests

Children with chronic wet cough are frequently subjected to expensive, invasive immune function tests that can set them on a “super highway” of further testing, an expert warns.

Dr Sam Mehr, an immunologist from the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Sydney, said immunodeficiency disorders were rare in children, but screening tests were commonly being ordered.

He said immune function testing should be reserved for children with persistent chronic wet cough who have also had unusual or invasive infections, such as pneumonia or