Pertussis cases rise: NegOcc, Bacolod confirm 5 pertussis cases, joint advisory issued

Posted by watchmen
April 11, 2024
Posted in HEADLINE


Five confirmed cases of pertussis or whooping cough have been reported in Negros Occidental, including capital Bacolod City, local health officials said on Tuesday, April 9.

Provincial Health Office (PHO) head Dr. Girlie Pinongan said two children aged two months old in Negros Occidental have tested positive for pertussis.

Pinongan said 23 other suspected cases were under monitoring.

Grace Tan, Bacolod City Health Office’s (CHO) Environment Sanitation Division head, said three babies aged one to three months old in the city have also tested positive for whooping cough.

One suspected case tested negative for pertussis, Tan said.

The patient is still admitted to a hospital, while two others have already been discharged.

She said the patients were from Barangays Taculing, Tangub and Villamonte.

The confirmed cases’ close contacts were traced for antibiotic prophylaxis.

The CHO head said they are collaborating with PHO and infectious disease consultants for joint advisories and guidelines for pertussis prevention.

Meanwhile, Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson and Bacolod Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez issued a joint public advisory on pertussis awareness and preventive measures.

They advised the public to be aware of the rising number of confirmed and suspected pertussis cases in the city and province.

The advisory added that immediate consultation with the nearest healthcare station is strongly advised if symptoms are observed.

They also urge parents to get their children vaccinated against diseases, including pertussis.

Parents should review their children’s primary immunization, especially for pertussis, and seek catch-up vaccination or booster if necessary.

A catch-up immunization and booster doses are highly recommended for those unimmunized and incompletely immunized.

The authorities also advised parents not to bring their children to crowded places to prevent pertussis.

Children manifesting respiratory symptoms, such as cough, runny nose and fever, are discouraged from attending school, and they should be referred to the nearest primary care facility or health center.

The advisory said the public is encouraged to observe proper cough etiquette and hand hygiene, as well as wear face masks in closed or crowded areas.

Post-exposure antibiotic prophylaxis is recommended for high-risk individuals with exposure to a confirmed case.

All health facilities are encouraged to set up a fast lane for patients with respiratory and influenza-related illnesses.

Pertussis is a highly-contagious respiratory disease, and children are the most vulnerable to infection.

The characteristic “whooping” sound occurs when the patient inhales after a severe coughing fit.

The illness usually begins with cold-like symptoms, such as runny nose and mild cough, which could intensify over a period of two weeks./JB, WDJ

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