Quezon City Declares Pertussis Outbreak: Urgent Measures Implemented

whooping cough pertussis

The Quezon City government has officially declared an outbreak of pertussis, commonly known as “whooping cough,” due to a significant increase in reported cases of the respiratory disease. 

The announcement comes as a response to the upsurge in pertussis cases. 23 cases, including four deaths,  were recorded from January to March 20. This spike is particularly alarming as no cases were reported during the same period last year, highlighting the situation’s urgency.

Rapid Response Amid Rising Concerns

Mayor Joy Belmonte addressed the press in a briefing. She emphasised the necessity of declaring an outbreak in light of the escalating numbers. She assured residents that the city government is mobilising all available assets and resources to contain the spread of the disease. Belmonte stressed the importance of preparedness and reassured the public, stating, “There is no need to panic. Our declaration assures that we are on top of the situation.”

Vaccine Procurement and Public Education

The city government is taking proactive measures to safeguard children’s health, including procuring necessary vaccines. Belmonte announced plans to secure vaccines to protect children until supplies from the Department of Health (DOH) become available. Pertussis, a highly contagious respiratory infection, can be effectively prevented through vaccination. The city government urged families with unvaccinated children to use the routine DPT vaccine (diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus) to prevent further spread.

Community Intervention and Prophylaxis

In addition to vaccination efforts, the Queson City Health Department is implementing community interventions to curb the transmission of pertussis. The city’s Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Division will provide prophylaxis to probable patients infected with pertussis and administer treatment to affected individuals. Belmonte issued directives for the emergency procurement of vaccines and antibiotics to address cases promptly and provide prophylaxis to close contacts.

Collaboration with the Department of Health

Meanwhile, at the national level, the Department of Health (DOH) is taking decisive action to address the outbreak. The DOH announced the imminent arrival of additional doses of vaccines against vaccine-preventable diseases, including pertussis. These pentavalent vaccines, which protect against several diseases, including pertussis, are expected to arrive soon. Furthermore, the DOH has ordered additional doses of measles-rubella vaccines to supplement existing stocks.

Public Health Measures and Vigilance

The DOH has emphasised the importance of accurate reporting and vaccination efforts. Secretary Teodoro Herbosa and a team of DOH officials are coordinating closely with local Public Health Emergency Operations Centers to ensure an effective response. While encouraging the public to continue daily activities, the DOH recommends the voluntary use of face masks, proper cough etiquette, and prompt consultation with healthcare professionals for any symptoms or health concerns.

Enhanced Surveillance and Data Analysis

Additionally, the Queson City Health Department has ramped up surveillance efforts to monitor the spread of pertussis within the community. Enhanced data collection and analysis will provide valuable insights into the epidemiology of the disease, helping authorities tailor their response strategies accordingly. Health officials can implement targeted interventions to mitigate the outbreak’s impact by closely monitoring trends and identifying high-risk areas.

Community Engagement and Education

Community engagement and education play a crucial role in containing the outbreak and preventing further transmission of pertussis. In collaboration with healthcare professionals, the city government is conducting public awareness campaigns. They intend to educate residents about the signs and symptoms of pertussis, the importance of vaccination, and preventive measures to reduce the risk of infection. Authorities aim to foster a collective response to the outbreak by empowering residents with knowledge and promoting proactive health-seeking behaviours.

Continued Vigilance and Preparedness

As the situation evolves, authorities remain vigilant and committed to implementing effective containment measures to curb the spread of pertussis. The Quezon City government and the Department of Health are working to protect the health and well-being of all residents. This is executed through proactive vaccination efforts, community interventions, and collaborative partnerships. With a concerted effort from government agencies and the community, the outbreak’s impact can be minimised, and the city can emerge more robust and resilient in the face of public health challenges.


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