Albay distributes swab kits to monitor pertussis cases

By Connie Calipay

April 17, 2024, 4:45 pm

<p><em>(Infographic courtesy of Albay PHO)</em></p>

(Infographic courtesy of Albay PHO)

LEGAZPI CITY – The Albay Provincial Health Office (APHO) has begun distributing nasopharyngeal swab kits to different rural health units (RHUs) and private and public hospitals in the province as part of its intervention against pertussis.

In an interview on Wednesday, Jan Edmund Dominic Bailon, chief of the Provincial Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (PESU), said the health kits would be used for patients exhibiting symptoms that fit the case definitions of the respiratory disease.

"The 200 (swab kits) is an initial number given to us by the Department of Health (DOH) - Bicol. It can be used for emergency purposes for pertussis patients. For RHUs, we allocated five kits each, while for hospitals, we have 10 kits each," Bailon said.

He said an additional 1,000 swab kits would be downloaded to the province from the DOH.

Bailon said samples obtained through swab kits would be forwarded to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) for confirmatory results.

He noted that they continuously monitor pertussis cases in the province and conduct an information dissemination campaign for the public to know more about the disease.

"We also distribute information, education, and communication materials and advisories to different RHUs, as well as to the public via different platforms," he said.

Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious bacterial disease that spreads quickly in the early stage before the coughing begins. (PNA)