No pertussis outbreak in Bacolod even as cases rise

By Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD CITY – Health officials announced no outbreak despite an uptick in pertussis, also known as whooping cough, with three new cases confirmed on April 6, bringing the city’s total to six.

“The patients are all boys: one-year-old, one-month-old, and two months old,” City Health Officer Dr. Ma. Carmela Gensoli clarified.

The recent diagnoses originated from Barangays Granada, Handumanan, and Tangub, adding to earlier cases in Barangays Taculing, Villamonte, and Tangub.

All six patients have been released from various hospitals, with two additional suspected cases awaiting test results, Gensoli added.

“We will not declare an outbreak at present as we’ve initiated targeted plans in the affected barangays,” she emphasized, noting that pertussis is both preventable and treatable.

Highlighting the absence of clustering, Gensoli remarked there was no cause to proclaim an outbreak. She reiterated the crucial role vaccinations play in disease prevention for children, particularly infants.

Gensoli disclosed the city’s requisition for additional vaccines to maintain immunization efforts, specifying a procurement of 10,000 doses, equating to approximately P15 million, sufficient for over 3,000 children.

Gensoli reassured that local hospitals are prepared to manage new pertussis patients and encouraged parents to shield their young from crowded spaces.

Concurrently, Doc Jevi Marie Ortoño, National Immunization Program Medical Coordinator, acknowledged some parental hesitance towards vaccination due to disbelief or prior child illnesses. Despite these challenges, the health department continues its intensive vaccination campaign.

Addressing concerns about the upcoming rainy season, Gensoli acknowledged the potential risk but assured continuous support to families.

She also informed that the Bacolod Respiratory Outpatient (BRO) center at the Bacolod Arts, Youth, and Sports (BAYS) Center offers complimentary swabbing or testing from Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (With a report from Dolly Yasa)