Bacolod monitors new suspected infant pertussis cases

By Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD CITY – Health authorities here are on alert as two new specimens from infants suspected of having pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, have been sent to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) for thorough laboratory testing.

Dr. Grace Tan, leading the Environment Sanitation Division of the City Health Office (CHO), revealed that the patients are between six weeks and two months old and are currently receiving hospital care.

“Pertussis is a highly contagious respiratory infection caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis,” as per the World Health Organization’s classification.

The CHO is also anticipating results from a two-month-old girl’s confirmatory test, the initial suspected case of pertussis in the region, who was hospitalized last month.

Efforts to prevent an outbreak are underway, with Tan confirming that barangay health workers are actively verifying children’s immunization records through home visits.

Mayor Alfredo “Albee” Benitez, in a recent Facebook post, celebrated the city’s current record of no pertussis cases, urging the community to maintain this status.

He called on the public, especially families with children under five, to utilize the free pertussis vaccination services offered at local barangay health centers.

Benitez underscored the necessity of ongoing public health communication in a media interview.

“The CHO should continuously announce the availability of immunization against such diseases,” he asserted, stressing the crucial role of vaccination in safeguarding the city’s children.

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