DOH warns of 100% increase in WV whooping cough cases

The Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (RESU) of the Department of Health in Western Visayas has reported a 100 percent increase in Pertussis or “Whooping Cough” cases in WV in early March, which it called a serious public health concern.

The 18 cases monitored during  morbidity week 10 from March 3 to 9 are  100 percent higher compared to the same period last year that had zero cases, a statement released by  Dr. Adriano Suba-an, DOH 6 regional director, on  Saturday, March 16, said. 

“Pertussis or whooping cough, as it is commonly known, is a highly contagious respiratory disease that can be particularly severe in infants and young children, it continues to remain as a serious public health concern,” he said. 

It is acquired primarily through direct contact with discharges from respiratory mucus membranes of infected persons. 

The bacteria may be spread through droplets and indirect contact with articles freshly soiled with the discharges of infected persons. Its symptoms include a cough persisting for two or more weeks, paroxysms which usually occurs at night, followed by vomiting and exhaustion, he said. 

The DOH WV urges the community to take preventive measures to protect infants who are not yet eligible for vaccination, he added. 

This includes ensuring that susceptible infants and young children are not exposed to individuals who are experiencing influenza-like symptoms. It is also advised for parents to check the vaccination status of their children and to stay up-to-date with their routine immunization schedule, Suba-an said.

 “As we navigate through this challenging situation, we emphasize the importance of vaccination, early detection of symptoms, proper hygiene, and cough etiquette,”  Suba-an added. 

“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 is suspected, “ he said.* 

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