No. of :

No. of Shares:

Currently viewed by: Marcus Rosit

DOH calls for intensified preventive measures against Pertussis

ILOILO CITY (PIA) -- Following the sudden increase in cases of Pertussis or “whooping cough” in the region, the Department of Health Western Visayas Center for Health Development (DOH WV CHD) urged communities to take precautionary measures, especially to protect infants and children.

Based on the DOH Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU) data, as of March 16, there are a total of 29 Pertussis cases in the region. Three of these cases succumbed to the disease, noted with a 10.3 percent case fatality rate.

To note, RESU data showed that the region recorded no Pertussis cases last year.

According to the DOH, Pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, is “a highly contagious respiratory disease that can be particularly severe among infants and young children and considered as a serious public health concern.”

The disease can be acquired through direct contact with the discharges from respiratory mucus membranes, like when infected individuals sneeze, cough, or have colds. The bacteria causing the disease may also indirectly contact through droplets and articles freshly soiled with the mucus discharges of the infected individual.

Dr. Jose Martin Atienza (right), National Immunization Program (NIP) regional coordinator of DOH Western Visayas Center for Health Development (DOH WV CHD), discusses the facts about Pertussis during the episode of MedCast, an online health talk show of the DOH WV CHD. (Screengrab from DOH WV CHD)

In a DOH online health talk show, MedCast, episode, National Immunization Program (NIP) regional coordinator Dr. Jose Martin Atienza noted that the disease has three stages.

Its symptoms include a cough that lasts up to two weeks or more. If the cough persists, a paroxysmal stage may occur where the whooping cough characteristic happens, especially at night, which may lead to exhaustion and vomiting.

An IEC material on Pertussis produced by the Department of Health (DOH).

With the sudden increase of its cases, not just in the region, Atienza stressed that Pertussis is a vaccine-preventable disease through timely immunization of the Pentavalent vaccine which includes Pertussis-containing vaccine being given to infants aged six, ten, and fourteen weeks old.

He further noted that these vaccines are safe, effective, and available for free in local health centers.

From February to July this year, the health department is also conducting intensified catch-up supplemental immunization activity for bivalent oral Polio vaccines (bOPV) and for other vaccine-preventable diseases for all target young populations across the region.

Meanwhile, the DOH6 also urged communities to take other preventive measures to prevent the further spread of the disease and to protect infants and young children, especially those who are not yet eligible to take the vaccines.

Parents are also advised to check the vaccination status of their children and to stay up-to-date with the routine immunization schedule, particularly with the upcoming immunization activity in their community.

DOH6 regional director Dr. Adriano P. Suba-an, in a press release, emphasized the importance of vaccines, early detection of symptoms, proper hygiene, and cough etiquette to prevent the spread of the disease.

“Together we can work towards preventing future cases by continuing what we have learned from the recent pandemic. Let us bear in mind the importance of observing proper handwashing, wearing of facemask, and seeking prompt medical attention from your healthcare provider if symptoms of Pertussis are suspected,” he noted. (AAL/FRG/PIA6)

About the Author

Franz Remar Garion

Region 6

Indicium gladio fortior est

Feedback / Comment

Get in touch