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Whooping cough breaks out among children in Cueibet

Dr. John Pasquale Rumunu,Director General for preventive health service and COVID-19 incident manager

By Lodu William Odiya

South Sudan’s National Ministry of Health has confirmed an outbreak of pertussis (whooping cough) in Cueibet county of Lakes State.

Speaking during the Covid-19 media briefing yesterday, the Director-General for preventive health service and COVID-19 incident manager, Dr. John Pasquale Rumunu said that he was notified through the county surveillance officer in Cueibet county health department about a cluster of suspected cases of pertussis (whooping cough) in thiep thiep payam.

Dr. Rumunu added that the county health department and partners with support from state surveillance officers carried out verification of the rumors of suspected cases suspicious in ThiepThiep and Agang-rial areas and they found that there was 43 cases of pertussis, they identified and recorded in the registration.

“They presented with the symptoms and signs consistent with whooping cough which is protractive curve fever and vomiting. Initially, there was no death but the report we got yesterday is that there were 2 death that occurred”

He said pertussis or whooping was one of the diseases under surveillance and it was one of the diseases that can be prevented through vaccination.

“out of 43 suspected cases 51.2 percent (22) did not receive any vaccines,34.9 percent (15) did not complete immunization scheduled and 6 that is 14 percent of the cases, there vaccination status is unknown and no case occurred in fully vaccinated children”, he said.

He further added that his ministry is calling upon the families to ensure their children were taken for vaccination.

Rumunu said the investigation came up with recommendations and also responded to the cases.

“These are known diseases under surveillance and they are receiving treatment and there is an active surveillance is being done and one of the recommendations is to improve vaccination in the area”, Dr. Rumunu added.

Pertussis is caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis and its incubation period takes seven to 10 days. It is known for its uncontrollable, violent coughing which often makes it hard to breath.

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