Pertussis Pandemic: Senator’s Clarion Call to Action

MANILA – The alarming surge of pertussis pandemic has prompted Senator Christopher “Bong” Go to call for increased vigilance among the public. Pertussis, commonly known as “whooping cough,” is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection that demands immediate attention.

Pertussis Pandemic: Health Crisis Unfolds

Go’s statement follows Health Undersecretary Eric Tayag’s revelation during a news forum last saturday that the Department of Health (DOH) had reported 453 cases of pertussis, resulting in 35 fatalities as of March 9, 2024. The gravity of the situation was further highlighted when, on March 21, the Quezon City government declared a pertussis outbreak after recording 23 cases and four deaths. Bacolod City issued a health alert on Monday to curb the spread of the disease.

Call for Unity and Proactivity

Dapat tayong magkaisa at maging proactive sa pagpapalaganap ng impormasyon at pagtiyak na may sapat na gamot para sa lahat (We must unite and be proactive in disseminating information and ensuring adequate medication for all),” emphasized Go in a statement. He also urged local government units (LGUs) to intensify efforts in vaccination mapping and reassure the public about vaccine availability and post-exposure prophylaxis.

Understanding the Threat

Pertussis, caused by the Bordetella pertussis bacterium, spreads through respiratory droplets and can lead to severe health complications such as pneumonia, seizures, brain damage, and potentially fatal outcomes.

Pertussis Pandemic: Senator's Clarion Call to Action

Expert Insights on Pertussis Pandemic

Dr. Rontgene Solante, an infectious diseases expert and president of the Philippine College of Physicians, echoed the urgency of addressing the outbreak. He advised vulnerable groups, especially children and the elderly, to wear face masks and get vaccinated against pertussis, stressing the disease’s potential to spread rapidly in densely populated areas like Metro Manila.

Government Response

The DOH is taking proactive measures by procuring at least one million vaccine doses against pertussis. The outbreak affects Metro Manila, Southern Luzon, and Central Visayas. Tayag emphasized the importance of parents, particularly mothers, vaccinating their young children against the disease.

Long-term Strategies

Go advocated for long-term strategies to bolster the country’s readiness and response to infectious diseases, including enhancing healthcare infrastructure, conducting extensive public awareness campaigns on vaccination, and fostering collaboration among government agencies, healthcare providers, and communities.

Local Impact

The Taguig City government recently reported eight pertussis cases but assured the public that all patients had received treatment and recovered. The city urged individuals exhibiting pertussis symptoms to isolate themselves and wear face masks to prevent transmission. The government assured the public that it was ready to address the pertussis outbreak, with ample capacity, medication, and equipment available in health centers and hospitals.

Seeking Assistance

For assistance, individuals can contact the City Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (CEDSU) at 0919-079-9193 and 0915-164-2742 or the Taguig Emergency Command Center (ECC) at (02) 8789-3200.

Pertussis Pandemic: Conclusion

Pertussis, caused by Bordetella pertussis, remains a significant public health concern. It necessitates concerted efforts from the government and the public to contain its spread and mitigate its impact.


Go urges the public to be vigilant amid rising pertussis cases [Internet]. By Philippines News Agency (Accessed on March 26, 2024). Available from:

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