NewsDesk @bactiman63

In a follow-up on the whooping cough, or pertussis outbreak in Bolivia, the mobilization of medical brigades in Santa Cruz, commissioned by President Luis Arce, to control cases of whooping cough, is giving positive results as it shows a trend of decreasing suspected cases, according to Minister of Health and Sports, Maria Renée Castro.

Image/Alvaro1984 18

“Fortunately within the cases of suspects we have seen a downward trend. Of the 892 total cases reported  since the beginning of the outbreak, 178 remain active.

The distribution of confirmed cases by department show the largest number in Santa Cruz with 842, Beni with 43, Chuquisaca 4, while La Paz, Pando and Oruro have only one case each.

Pertussis is a bacterial infection that affects the airways and can easily spread from person to person by coughing or sneezing. Pertussis can cause a severe cough that lasts for weeks or months, sometimes leading to coughing fits and/or vomiting.

Early symptoms are flu-like (runny nose, fever, mild cough) while later stage symptoms include:
• Fits of rapid coughs followed by a high-pitched “whoop/barking” sound;
• Vomiting during or after coughing fits; and
• Exhaustion after coughing fits.

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Anyone can get pertussis. It can be very dangerous for babies and people with weakened immune systems. Family members with pertussis, especially siblings and parents, can spread pertussis to babies.

Vaccination is the best protection against Pertussis.  It does not provide lifelong immunity. Booster doses are essential to maintaining protection. The vaccine is available for children and adults.