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Quezon City mayor declares pertussis outbreak

By Camille Santiago Published Mar 21, 2024 5:41 pm

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte on Thursday officially declared a pertussis outbreak in the city, but assured that there is "no need to panic."

In a press conference, Belmonte said that as of March 2024, there were 23 cases of pertussis in the city.

"We are making this announcement to make everyone more prepared and remain vigilant," she said.

"Ang deklarasyon natin ay pagsiguro na we are on top of the situation, and we will do whatever it takes to curb the spread of this disease. We are mobilizing our own resources towards procuring the needed vaccines to keep our children safe, until such time as the DOH supply arrives,” Belmonte added.

Pertussis, or whooping cough, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by Bordetella pertussis bacteria. It spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. You can also catch it by touching something contaminated with the bacteria and then touching your face.

Symptoms, like a cough that lasts two weeks or more, a mild fever, and a runny nose, can linger for many children. It is most contagious for about three weeks after the cough starts. 

The infection is "generally milder in teens and adults." But among babies, pertussis "causes them to turn blue or struggle to breathe," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

According to reports, there are already four casualties among infants aged from 22 days old to 60 days old.

Belmonte has urged all relevant departments to promote awareness and preventive measures.

The Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Division will provide preventive medication to people who may have been exposed, as well as isolate and treat confirmed cases.

Targeted testing in high-risk areas will also be done.

What to do if you are experiencing symptoms?

According to Belmonte, those who are experiencing symptoms must "seek medical care" immediately.

To prevent from having it, routine DPT (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis) vaccination should also be administered to infants and young children as early as 2 months old.

How do you prevent the spread of pertussis?

Dr. Rolly Cruz of the QC Health Department gave some pointers on how to prevent the virus from spreading.

  • Follow the right hygiene especially when coughing or sneezing. Cover your mouth or nose.
  • Dispose used tissue or wipes properly.
  • Avoid coughing or sneezing on your hand to avoid spreading the virus
  • Wash your hands after coughing or sneezing