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Bacolod: Suspected pertussis infects 2-month-old in Negros

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Bacolod City – The Provincial Health Office is campaigning for the use of face masks, in the wake of the issuance of a health alert against pertussis, commonly known as whooping or violent cough, which is a highly contagious respiratory infection.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Girlie Pinongan recently confirmed that a two-month-old infant was treated for suspected pertussis at a government hospital in Bacolod City.

Pinongan, however, said that the health condition of the infant is now stable.

Pertussis, according to the Department of Health, can be transmitted through respiratory droplets.
Pinongan called on Negrenses to be vigilant against pertussis, especially among children who may experience whooping cough, or difficulty in breathing. If symptoms persist, she advised those affected to consult physicians.

Individuals at high risk for pertussis include those who are younger than 12 months old, in the third trimester of pregnancy, have pre-existing health conditions, or have close contact with high risk individuals.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Pinongan admitted that some children were not able to avail of the pentavalent vaccine for Diphtheria, Pertussis and Tetanus (DPT).

Even adults may be infected by pertussis, she said.

Aside from wearing face masks at home, especially when a family member is experiencing cough, Pinongan stressed the need for adoption of preventive measures, such as respiratory hygiene, and hand washing with soap and water or alcohol-based sanitizer, among others.

The bacteria responsible for whooping cough spread easily through coughing and sneezing, even among individuals with mild or asymptomatic cases, emphasizing the importance of preventive measures and early detection, according to DOH.

An outbreak of pertussis in Iloilo City was declared on March 25, where 15 pertussis cases were logged. (Gilbert Bayoran via The Visayan Daily Star)

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