DOH to parents: Have children vaccinated vs pertussis, measles

DOH to parents: Have children vaccinated vs pertussis, measles
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THE Department of Health (DOH) has urged parents to have their children vaccinated, as it expressed concern over the increase in the number of deaths due to vaccine-preventable diseases, particularly pertussis or whooping cough and measles.

In a statement, Health Secretary Ted Herbosa said vaccines to prevent these pertussis and measles are free of charge if availed in local health centers.

The DOH said 453 cases of pertussis were recorded in the first 10 weeks of 2024, 1,870 percent higher than the 23 cases during the same period in 2023.

Only 52 cases of the disease were recorded in 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic, 27 in 2020, seven in 2021 and two in 2022.

The Quezon City local government earlier declared a pertussis outbreak with 23 cases reported as of March 20, in which four patients died.

In 2023, there were only a total of 27 pertussis cases in the city.

Pertussis is a highly contagious bacterial respiratory infection that causes influenza-like symptoms like mild fever, cough and colds.

“Ang Pertussis o Whooping Cough ay nagdudulot ng matinis at ipit na paghinga matapos ang pag-ubo. Ang bata ay maaaring makaranas ng apnea o pagtigil sa paghinga, pagkahirap sa paghinga, at pagsusuka,” the DOH said.

(Pertussis or Whooping Cough causes wheezing after coughing. The child may experience apnea or cessation of breathing, difficulty breathing, and vomiting.)

A person with pertussis can infect 18 more individuals, including children.

Immunization against pertussis can prevent respiratory complications.

The DOH said the routine immunization particularly of children was disrupted due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

This includes immunization against pentavalent diphtheria, tetanus, hepatitis B, haemophilus influenzae type B, and measles, mumps and rubella which are all free of charge in local health centers.

As of 2024, a total of 569 cases of rubella and measles were recorded in the country.

The DOH cases of these diseases increases in all regions except in Bicol and Central Visayas. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)


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