DOH raises alert on pertussis in Calabarzon

CALAMBA CITY (PIA) – The Department of Health (DOH) in CALABARZON has activated its Incident Management Team (IMT) to augment the needs of local health offices following the declaration of a code blue alert in the region against pertussis.

In a Code Blue Alert, LGUs and health facilities are expected to provide surveillance reports on pertussis cases to the Incident Command Systems to facilitate timely updates and data analysis.

Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management in Health (RDRRM-H) officer-in-charge, Joehl Francisco, urged local health offices to actively report suspected and confirmed cases of pertussis within 24 hours to prevent the virus from further spreading.

“We highly encourage local health personnel to co-locate because one of our findings upon institutionalizing local government units in terms of DRRM-H (disaster risk reduction and management in health) is that they are located within the operations center,” Francisco said.

He further explained: “We want reporting to be on time, and as much as possible, instances where individuals experience symptoms should be reported within 24 hours to prevent the disease from spreading.”

Citing the country’s experience during the COVID-19 pandemic, the DOH Calabarzon and its local counterparts will adopt the ‘Prevent-Detect-Isolate-Test-Reintegrate’ (PDITR) strategy on top of other infection prevention control measures.

The health department also reminded health facilities to implement infection prevention control protocols, such as proper disposal of infectious wastes.

“Infection prevention and control, as well as physical distancing inside health facilities are very important. The public is also encouraged to wear face masks to prevent infection, especially in large gatherings,” the health officer said.

Other precautions to observe include proper and regular handwashing, keeping infants and children away from individuals with suspected symptoms, and having their children vaccinated.

The DOH Calabarzon assured the public of their readiness to accommodate the possible influx of outpatient consultations and admissions in health facilities, with their sufficient human resources, supplies, and equipment in rural health units and hospitals. (PB/PIA-4A)

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