Pertussis or whooping cough is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection. It is characterized by severe coughing spells and a whooping sound that sometimes accompanies the intake of breath. 

Symptoms of whooping cough usually develop within 5 to 10 days after you come in contact with the bacteria that cause it. Sometimes symptoms do not develop for as long as 3 weeks. 

Early symptoms can last for 1 to 2 weeks and usually include:

• Runny or stuffed-up nose

• Low-grade fever (less than 100.4°F)

• Mild, occasional cough (babies do not do this)

• Apnea (life-threatening pauses in breathing) and cyanosis (turning blue or purple) in babies and young children

Whooping cough can be prevented with the pertussis vaccine, which is part of the DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis) immunization. A person with whooping cough can spread it to others in the first 3 weeks of illness. Bacteria coughed into the air can be inhaled by babies, children, or adults nearby.Whooping cough cases are in an upward trend in the Philippines. The Department of Health recorded 1,477 pertussis cases from January 1 to April 6, with 63 deaths recorded. Of the total number of cases, 76% were less than 5 years old and adults aged 20 and older accounted for only around 4% of the cases. As part of its mission to protect public health, the Asian Hospital and Medical Center shares informative materials on its social media pages on how to prevent the spread of Pertussis. 

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