Two confirmed cases of whooping cough (pertussis) in Davao City

Apr. 06, 2024
Photo by Mufid Majnun on Unsplash

DAVAO CITY, Philippines- The Davao City Health Office has confirmed two cases of Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, in the city.

The first case involves a four-month-old baby from Agdao, while the second case is a three-month-old baby from Barangay 9-A. This news comes amidst a larger outbreak of Pertussis in the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC), with a total of ten cases reported.

Dr. Julinda Acosta of the City Health Office (CHO)-technical division emphasized that not all ten cases in the SPMC are from Davao City, as some patients are from other areas and were diagnosed with the disease at the hospital.

The increase in pertussis cases in Davao City, with one death reported in the first three months of this year, is a cause for concern compared to the previous year’s statistics. Dr. Maria Delta Aguilar of the SPMC’s Infectious Disease Cluster for Reemerging Diseases and Department of Pediatrics noted that in 2023, the Davao Region had 67 cases of pertussis with five deaths.

In response, the city has initiated the Periodic Intensification of Routine Immunization (PIRI) program, announcing a catch-up vaccination campaign of pertussis-containing vaccine (PENTA) for children aged 0 to 23 months old. 

Simultaneously, an active tracing and profiling operation is underway to identify residents lacking immunizations, aiming to curb the spread of the highly contagious disease. The CHO is also coordinating with private pediatricians to submit immunization records, and at the same time, urge their clients to immunize their children.

When asked who are the most vulnerable age groups, Dr. Acosta responded “Tanan tawo pwede maigo. Ang bata, mga adult, tigulang, pwede maigo labi na katong mga wala nabakunahan. But, ang mga batang gagmay, once magkaroon sila ng pertussis, yan ang delikado sa kanila, magkakaroon sila ng serious complications. (Anyone can get sick with this. Children, adults, elderly, anyone especially those who are not vaccinated. But when young children get pertussis, they are in danger, there might be serious complications.) Our youngest last year was 23 days-old.”

Health officials said vaccination is important in fighting the spread of this highly contagious respiratory disease. Health officials are urging people to seek medical help if they have symptoms of pertussis, such as severe coughing fits and difficulty breathing. (

Marlon Lapitan and Sean Andrei J. Guanco are Senior High School students from the Colegio de San Ignacio. This story is part of their work immersion program.

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