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QPHO warns of pertussis outbreak, emphasizes vaccination

By Nimfa Estrellado Vaccines (Photo from PIXABAY) LUCENA CITY, Quezon - The Quezon Provincial Health Office (QPHO) issued a Pertussis Su...

By Nimfa Estrellado

QPHO warns of pertussis outbreak, emphasizes caccination
Vaccines (Photo from PIXABAY)

LUCENA CITY, Quezon - The Quezon Provincial Health Office (QPHO) issued a Pertussis Surveillance Report on their Facebook page on April 2, 2024, warning the public about an outbreak of pertussis (whooping cough). The QPHO emphasized the importance of vaccination and observe other health protocols to prevent the spread of the disease.

The report shows the worrisome health status in Quezon Province, which includes Lucena City. Of the 32 pertussis total number of cases reported, 16 are in infants under the age of one year, the most vulnerable age group. Seven instances have been confirmed in the lab, and all have happened in people who have not been vaccinated.

Pertussis is a highly contagious bacterial disease spread through coughs and sneezes. Vaccination is the most effective form of protection, particularly for young children. The recommended vaccination schedule is at 6, 10, and 14 weeks of age.

QPHO stresses the importance of taking precautions in combating this outbreak. Wearing masks, handwashing, and avoiding crowds are crucial. QPHO emphasizes the importance of vigilance in combating this outbreak and urges parents to vaccinate their children according to the recommended schedule. If you suspect your child may have pertussis, seek medical advice immediately.

Due to the possible spread of this disease, QPHO once again reminded the public to be careful and critical to avoid contracting pertussis. It's transmitted through respiratory droplets from the coughing or sneezing of an infected person, so QPHO encourages the wearing of face masks, frequent handwashing, and avoiding crowded places.

QPHO also encourages the public to contact health centers if there are other questions about a disease that is a vaccine-preventable disease (VPD) or a disease that can be prevented through a vaccine.

It can be recalled that last week the province of Cavite was placed under a state of calamity due to the continued spread of the disease, and currently, three (3) deaths have been recorded.

DOH prioritizes vaccination of the most vulnerable

The Department of Health (DOH) announced Monday, April 1, 2024, that it will focus on vaccinating the most vulnerable populations against pertussis (whooping cough) due to limited supplies. This comes as reports indicate that free booster shots are currently unavailable in health centers for children over 5, adolescents, adults, and pregnant women.

"Given limited resources, the DOH prioritizes protecting those most at risk. We are open to finding ways to expand vaccine access to other groups," the DOH statement said.

As of March 16, 568 pertussis cases and 40 deaths have been recorded in the Philippines, with 393 cases occurring in children under one year old. The DOH emphasizes that early vaccination (starting at 6 weeks of age) with a multi-purpose vaccine offers the best protection for young children.

Pertussis is treatable with antibiotics. In addition to vaccination, prevention includes covering coughs and sneezes and regular handwashing.

Up to 1 million pertussis vaccines are expected to arrive in June through procurement by the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund. DOH Undersecretary Eric Tayag confirmed that over PHP8 billion has been allocated to procure necessary vaccines.

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OFFICE ADDRESS: Sentinel Times Quezon Province Regional Weekly Newspaper is published at Dau St. Calmar Subd. Brgy. Mayao Kanluran, Lucena City, 4301 Quezon Province, Philippines

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