The Ministry of Health of the Mayor’s Office of Bogotá issued an alert in the city due to the increase in pertussis, or whooping cough, according to a LAFM report (computer translated). Since the beginning of the year, 28 cases have been reported in the first three months of 2018.

Colombia/CIA
Colombia/CIA

Cases have been reported in the localities of Suba, Usaquén and Ciudad Bolívar.

Health Ministry epidemiologist, Carlos Julio Pinto said it was ordered to reinforce the prevention campaigns with several days of vaccination in several points of the city, noting that a poorly cared for whooping cough case can cause death.

“For this season there is an increase in the reporting of cases of whooping cough, in relation to the reports of previous years, so that vaccination is being promoted to pregnant women,” said Pinto.

Whooping cough is a highly contagious respiratory disease. It is caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis.

Pertussis is known for uncontrollable, violent coughing which often makes it hard to breathe. After fits of many coughs, someone with pertussis often needs to take deep breaths which result in a “whooping” sound (WATCH). Pertussis most commonly affects infants and young children and can be fatal, especially in babies less than 1 year of age.

The best way to protect against pertussis is immunization.

There are vaccines for infants, children, preteens, teens and adults. The childhood vaccine is called DTaP, and the pertussis booster vaccine for adolescents and adults is called Tdap.

Related: