DOH sees possible Holy Week hike in pertussis cases | Inquirer News

DOH sees possible Holy Week hike in pertussis cases

/ 07:24 PM March 25, 2024

DOH sees possible rise in pertussis cases this Holy Week


MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday said that it is anticipating an increase in cases of respiratory illnesses, including pertussis or whooping cough amid the Holy Week travel rush. 


“DOH sees a possible rise in the number of cases of respiratory illnesses, including Pertussis, with increased movement as we travel during Holy Week,” DOH Assistant Secretary Albert Domingo told in a text message.


Domingo emphasized, however, that this risk can be mitigated.

The public may carry on with daily activities. Face mask use continues to be voluntary but highly encouraged. Cover coughs (cough into your elbow), and choose well-ventilated areas,” he explained.

Domingo also highlighted that vaccination is the most effective solution against diseases.

Whooping cough

The DOH previously sounded the alarm on the rising cases of pertussis or whooping cough among children. 

Pertussis  is a highly contagious bacterial respiratory infection that causes influenza-like symptoms – mild fever, colds, and coughing 7 to 10 days after exposure.

In typical cases, it develops into a dry cough, which ends with a whooping sound as air is inhaled.


A previous DOH health advisory said that the respiratory disease is treatable by antibiotics but is best prevented by vaccination. 

The health department said that “three primary immunization doses of DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis vaccine) confer immunity to pertussis.”

DOH Spokesperson Eric Tayag reported over the weekend that around 800,000 to one million doses of Pertussis vaccines are expected to arrive in the country by mid-2024. 

As of March 9, Tayag said that there have been 167 cases of pertussis and 35 related deaths nationwide, with the majority occurring in Metro Manila, followed by Calabarzon and Central Visayas.

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Some cities across the country, including Quezon City and Iloilo City, have already declared an outbreak.


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