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Rising pertussis cases alarms guv

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• GILBERT P. BAYORAN

Negros Occidental Gov. Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson expressed alarm over the rising suspected cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, in the province.

Lacson reported that Negros Occidental logged one confirmed case of pertussis, and six more probable cases, with samples already sent to the Regional Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM) for confirmation.

The City Health Office in Bacolod City has also reported three suspected cases of pertussis.

Lacson said the sample taken from a two-month-old female infant admitted at the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital (CLMMRH) in Bacolod City, has been confirmed to be positive for pertussis.

The Department of Health reported pertussis can be transmitted through respiratory droplets. The bacteria responsible for whooping cough spreads easily through coughing and sneezing, even among individuals with mild or asymptomatic cases.

While the two-month-old infant is now in a stable condition after being treated at CLMMRH, Lacson said other members of her family are also experiencing heavy coughing.

Dr. Grace Tan, Environmental Sanitation Division head of the City Health Office, said they have submitted three samples from three infants with probable pertussis. They have ages ranging from six weeks to two months old, and are all currently admitted in Bacolod hospitals.

Lacson said Negrenses should be conscious of pertussis, stressing that it is not an ordinary cough. He also noted that pertussis infections did not happen before.

“Let’s be vigilant and wear masks, especially in crowded areas and indoor places,” he added.*

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