Iloilo City to lift state of calamity as pertussis cases dwindle

Iloilo City to lift state of calamity as pertussis cases dwindle

Iloilo City to lift state of calamity as pertussis cases dwindle


ILOILO CITY — Cases of pertussis in this city have died down, prompting health authorities to recommend lifting the state of calamity.

The cases, they said, went down due to aggressive vaccination efforts against the disease.


Iloilo City Health Office (ICHO) data as of May 13 indicated that there have been only 13 pertussis cases, as confirmed by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine in Muntinlupa City.


There were also 27 probable cases, five of which were still awaiting results on confirmatory testing from the RITM.

Dr. Annabel Tang, ICHO head, said immunization strategies may pave the way for lifting the current state of calamity as the situation is already “80 percent under control.”

READ: Pertussis: How to protect yourself, loved ones

She said that if the situation remained the same within the next few weeks, they may be able to make the formal recommendation to Mayor Jerry Treñas.

“Compared to the first [incidences], we have had two-week intervals, but now we are more or less confident because there are longer [infection] intervals, and those who are [probable or confirmed] are showing better resistance due to the outbreak response and catching-up of those who haven’t completed their vaccinations,” Tang said.

Citing their latest case’s immunization status, Tang said they are prepared to escalate their information and education campaigns for vaccination.


“[Their body] had a good response. The child merely coughed and they were brought to the hospital because of [standard operating procedure], and a blood sample was taken from them. But after a day or two, they no longer had a fever,” she narrated.

The city government has administered a total of 8,689 doses of diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus (DPT) vaccines to children.

These include 1,400 infants aged between 0 to 12 months who have the highest priority in the ICHO’s vaccination targets.

Not included are 741 doses administered to pregnant women in their third trimester (29 to 40 weeks) to transmit immunity from mother to child.

DPT vaccines are limited, and ICHO assistant head Roland Jay Fortuna said they would continue to target the 0 to 12-month-old age group, close contacts, and those living in proximity to confirmed cases.

Additional pentavalent vaccines to be provided by the Department of Health and hexaxim vaccines procured through the city’s Quick Response Fund were expected to arrive by July.

Tang previously said the delay was also because of the demand for the vaccines in other areas of the country.

READ: DOH addressing possible pertussis vaccine shortage by May

As a strategy, the ICHO has been coordinating with the Philippine Pediatric Society and the Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society to provide their doctors with vaccines to be administered to their patients.

Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory infection caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis, according to the World Health Organization.

Pertussis spreads from person to person through droplets produced by coughing or sneezing. The disease is most dangerous in infants and is a significant cause of disease and death in this age group.

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