First in Eastern Visayas

TACLOBAN CITY– Eastern Visayas has a confirmed death due to pertussis as the Department of Health (DOH) reported of seven confirmed cases.

Jelyn Malibago, the regional information officer of the DOH, said that the casualty involved a three-month-old baby boy from Gamay in Northern Samar.

The baby died on April 11 and was said vaccinated.

Malibago said that he was first brought to Gamay district and was later transferred to the Northern Samar Provincial Hospital in Catarman where he died.

Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly infectious bacterial disease involving the respiratory tract that mostly affects infants.

Malibago said that due to the rising pertussis cases in the region, they are advising the public to continue to practice the minimum health standards which include using masks, handwashing, observe cough etiquette, and seek early medical assistance upon onset of the symptoms.

Among the symptoms of the disease include runny nose, nasal congestion, red and watery eyes, fever, cough, and extreme fatigue.

Malibago said that there are 48 suspected pertussis cases in the region as of this week.
Of this number, seven are confirmed cases validated from sample results by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine(RITM).

The seven confirmed cases are from Tacloban City,2; and one each from the towns of Santa Fe, Jaro, Pastrana, and Abuyog, all in Leyte; and Can-avid in Eastern Samar.

Also, 35 of the victims were children one year old and below and of which 33 of them were unvaccinated.

Based on the record of the DOH-8, Leyte has the highest number of pertussis cases at 30; followed by Northern Samar at 7; Eastern Samar, 6; three in Southern Leyte; and two in Samar.

Biliran is the only province in the region which has no reported pertussis cases.