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Negros Occidental pertussis cases rise further

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• GILBERT P. BAYORAN

Confirmed pertussis related cases in Negros Occidental, including the highly urbanized city of Bacolod, further rose to 38, with fatalities remaining at one, as of May 30.

Among the 38 confirmed cases, the Provincial Health Office logged 24, and 14 were recorded by the Bacolod City Health Office.

A month-old baby died of pertussis last month at the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital in Bacolod City.

The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) also reported that 83 cases turned out negative, and they are in the process of examining the 18 other probable cases.

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

The disease is characterized by a “whooping” or high-pitched sound in between coughs, especially when inhaling; vomiting immediately after coughing; and low-grade fever.

Infants with pertussis may turn cyanotic or bluish when coughing.

“Pertussis is caused by bacteria – either bordetella pertussis, or bordetella parapertussis. Antibiotics are available and effective against them and depending on the antibiotic used and the age and condition of the patient, treatment may run from 4 to 14 days,” the DOH said.*

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