Bacolod City issues health alert vs. pertussis

By Nanette Guadalquiver

March 25, 2024, 5:11 pm

BACOLOD CITY – The city government issued on Monday a health alert against pertussis, a highly contagious respiratory infection, after a suspected case, a minor, was admitted at a hospital here.

Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez’s spokesperson, Singcang-Airport village chief Caesar Distrito, said the patient is not a resident of Bacolod, but is still included in the surveillance report of the City Health Office (CHO).

“Until now, there is no confirmation result yet because the report has been forwarded to the regional office (of the Department of Health),” he added.

Pertussis, which is caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis, is mainly transmitted through person-to-person respiratory droplets, or contact with airborne droplets and exposure to infected or contaminated clothes, utensils, and furniture, among others.

Symptoms include a persisting cough that may last two or more weeks, mild fever, and a runny nose.

Distrito said Benitez, together with the CHO, has advised the public to avoid letting young children go out, especially those who are unvaccinated, or avoid bringing them to crowded places, in case they leave the house.

Adults are also advised to wear a mask when going out to protect children and infants they interact with from infection, he added.

Distrito said the CHO is ready to respond to an outbreak although it is not seen at this point since only one suspected case has been reported.

He added that Bacolod is one of the recipients of the vaccine supply from the national government to prevent the further transmission of pertussis.

In an earlier statement, Health Undersecretary Eric Tayag said weeks-old babies to 12-year-old children may avail of the vaccine provided by the DOH free in health centers.

The pentavalent vaccine protects them against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, influenza type B and hepatitis B.

Last week, the DOH announced the procurement of at least 800,000 more vaccine doses expected to arrive in June. (PNA)