DOH to aid Pasig as pertussis cases rise

Rhodina Villanueva - The Philippine Star
DOH to aid Pasig as pertussis cases rise
Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Teodoro Herbosa on July 3, 2023.
STAR / Edd Gumban

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) would extend assistance to the city government of Pasig, where an increasing number of cases of pertussis or whooping cough have been reported, an official said recently.

DOH Secretary Ted Herbosa said he will seek a meeting with Mayor Vico Sotto to determine what help Pasig needs to address pertussis cases in the city.

“I will talk to Mayor Vico since I’ve seen that pertussis cases in Pasig have been increasing,” said Herbosa in a recent press briefing.

“He might need our help and the DOH is ready to support him,” he added.

The city government recorded 25 cases of pertussis from January to March 22, with 17 confirmed cases and two deaths.

Earlier, Herbosa met with Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte to discuss ways to respond to the pertussis outbreak in the city.

The DOH assured the Quezon City government that the department is taking appropriate measures to combat pertussis and would continue to offer the assistance needed by the local government unit (LGU).

Quezon City declared a pertussis outbreak, having recorded 23 cases since the beginning of 2024.

“We have current stocks (of diphtheria, pertussis and thyroid or DPT vaccines) so we don’t have shortage yet. However, at the rate we are vaccinating, our supplies will not last long especially because it looks like more LGUs are declaring (pertussis) outbreaks,” Herbosa said.

“Another option we have is to bring the unutilized vaccines of other cities without pertussis outbreak to those needing it now. We will do redistribution,” he added.

The DOH said it has secured three million doses of the trivalent vaccines to be used in May and June while waiting for the six million doses of pentavalent vaccines that will arrive in July.

Pertussis is an acute respiratory infection caused by the bacteria Bordetella pertussis. The infection poses a significant threat particularly among infants and young children who are at risk of severe symptoms and life-threatening complications and outcome.

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