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  • Writer's pictureEvelyn Edduba (intern)

DOH- Cordillera warns public against “PERTUSSIS” or whooping cough

Baguio City, Philippines – The Department of Health, Cordillera Administrative Region, reported on Wednesday, March 14, the rise in cases of pertussis, commonly known as “whooping cough.”

From January 1–March 9, 2024, the DOH-CAR Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU) recorded 18 suspected cases of pertussis in the region, a notable increase compared to the absence of reported cases in 2023.

Among these cases, four individuals tested positive. The affected age group ranges from 1-3 months old, with 3 cases reported in Baguio City and 1 in Benguet.

In light of the increasing number of pertussis cases in the region, the DOH-CAR warned the public to be cautious to avoid getting the disease.

To mitigate the risk of Pertussis infection, health authorities recommend adherence to preventive measures, including vaccination. The primary immunization against Pertussis consists of three doses of the pentavalent vaccine, which provides essential protection against the bacteria.

Health officials strongly encourage parents and caregivers to ensure children receive timely vaccinations as part of routine immunization schedules.

Additionally, individuals exhibiting symptoms suggestive of Pertussis are advised to seek prompt medical attention for diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

The DOH Cordillera has also proactively distributed essential information to effectively educate the population.

Accordingly, the Bordetella Pertussis bacteria are the source of pertussis, a disease that mainly affects children and is highly contagious.

As such, it presents a serious public health risk. Health experts state that pertussis can take 4–21 days to incubate, advising people to be on the lookout for any possible symptoms.

Transmission occurs through person-to-person contact via respiratory droplets or exposure to airborne droplets from an infected individual. Recognizing the signs and symptoms is crucial for the early detection and containment of the disease.

Common indications of pertussis include persistent coughing lasting for two or more weeks, frequent or violent coughing that may result in vomiting, and a distinctively high-pitched breath intake that sounds like a "whoop.”.