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Pertussis Cases Surge Across the Philippines as Iloilo City Declares State of Calamity

Pertussis Cases

Iloilo City’s pertussis outbreak has prompted the declaration of a state of calamity, as other regions in the Philippines grapple with rising cases of whooping cough. With 16 confirmed cases as of Tuesday, March 26, 2024, the city is intensifying efforts to combat the infectious disease, particularly in districts like Molo, Jaro, Arevalo, and Lapuz. Here are some details according to the report of GMA Regional TV News.

Utilizing Calamity Funds for Relief

The state of calamity empowers the city government to access vital resources from the calamity fund. This enables procurement of essential medicines, vaccines, and bolstered measures to combat the outbreak effectively.

In the northern region of Ilocos, two pertussis cases were reported, highlighting the disease’s alarming spread. Investigations are underway to contain the outbreak and prevent further transmission.

CALABARZON’s Pertussis Struggle

The Department of Health in CALABARZON recorded 132 cases of pertussis from January 1 to March 23, 2024, with Cavite, Rizal, Laguna, Batangas, Quezon, and Lucena City all affected. The region is grappling with the challenges posed by the highly contagious disease.

Pertussis, caused by Bordetella pertussis, spreads through respiratory droplets, making close contact a significant risk factor. Its hallmark symptom, persistent coughing, underscores the urgency of preventive measures and prompt medical intervention.

Treatment options for pertussis remain limited, emphasizing the crucial role of vaccination in preventing outbreaks. Health authorities stress the importance of timely vaccination for children and recommend three doses for optimal protection.

Government Response and Vaccine Procurement

The Department of Health has ordered a substantial quantity of vaccines against pertussis, slated to arrive in the country by June 2024. Health agencies strive to address vaccine shortages and curb disease spread through inventory management and strategic distribution. These efforts are crucial for ensuring vaccines reach areas in need promptly.

Health authorities advocate for the use of face masks, regular handwashing, and avoidance of crowded places to mitigate the risk of pertussis transmission. These measures are recommended as part of a comprehensive response to prevent the spread of the disease.

Pertussis cases surge across the Philippines, highlighting the need for proactive measures like vaccination campaigns and public health awareness. These efforts are crucial for containing the outbreak and preventing its further spread. Through concerted efforts and community cooperation, the nation strives to overcome the challenges posed by this infectious disease.

Read Also: Understanding Pertussis: What You Need to Know About Whooping Cough

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