More suspected pertussis cases monitored in Negros Occidental

By Nanette Guadalquiver

April 2, 2024, 6:33 pm

BACOLOD CITY – The Provincial Health Office (PHO) in Negros Occidental has sent specimens of six more suspected pertussis or whooping cough cases for confirmation to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).

Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said on Tuesday the latest monitored cases came after a confirmed patient, a two-month-old baby girl,  recovered after being admitted to a hospital.

“The sample was sent like three weeks ago. It takes a while before we get the results. More recently, we have sent six samples. In the meantime, they are taking care of these patients,” he told reporters.

Lacson said that Negrenses “should be conscious that this is not an ordinary cough”.

“We advise the wearing of masks in enclosed spaces with many people,” he added.

The  PHO earlier advised parents to have their children vaccinated against pertussis to prevent infection of the highly contagious respiratory disease.

Infants at least six weeks or one and a half months old can already avail of pentavalent vaccines for free for protection against diphteria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) as well as hepatitis B and hemophilus influenza type B.

In Bacolod, the City Health Office reported on Monday night they have also sent to the RITM specimens of four suspected pertussis cases, who are infants aged six weeks to two months admitted to a hospital.

According to the Department of Health, pertussis starts as a mild cough and cold that lasts about two weeks, followed by paroxysms or fits of coughing which lasts up to six weeks.

“There is a characteristic “whooping” or high-pitched sound in between coughs, especially when inhaling. There can also be vomiting immediately after coughing, and low-grade fever,” it added.

Some cases, particularly infants and toddlers could experience cyanosis or turning blue or purple, and apnea or life-threatening pauses in breathing. (PNA)