K. Male'
28 Jan 2024 | Sun 06:44
Three cases of whooping cough were recently detected in GA. Villingili
Three cases of whooping cough were recently detected in GA. Villingili
Whooping cough outbreak
No new whooping cough cases detected via contact tracing: HPA
Three cases of whooping cough or the “100 days” cough were detected last week
Some rare cases have been surfacing
The disease was eradicated in the Maldives since regular vaccination was rolled out

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has revealed that no new cases of the whooping cough have been detected during the testing of samples collected for contract tracing, after cases were detected on a local island on January 23.

HPA announced the discovery of whooping cough, also known as pertussis from Villingili island of Gaaf Alif atoll on January 23.

Three cases of whooping cough or the “100 days” cough were detected.

Three children from the island are to have tested positive for the highly contagious respiratory virus.

The disease was eradicated in the Maldives since regular vaccination was rolled out. However, some rare cases have been surfacing.

Responding to a question by RaajjeMV, an official at HPA revealed that samples were collected through contact tracing efforts and that no new cases have been detected so far.

The official stressed that one of the infected children was in critical condition and that the child had other health issues as well.

Efforts by the public health authority in connection with the discovery of positive cases include contact tracing efforts in collaboration with Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) and Gaaf Alif Atoll Hospital, testing contacts who have exhibited symptoms of the virus and providing antibiotic profiles to contacts of infected persons, children below one year of age and women who are six months pregnant.

HPA has also provided medication for contacts who have exhibited symptoms of the virus.

In addition to this, Gaaf Alif Atoll Hospital has established a special task force in connection with the outbreak and collaborating with the institutions on the island to control the spread of the virus.

The infectious disease is transmitted through the respiratory tract and the very first symptoms are similar to those seen in common colds. Patients will observe intense and chronic coughing after a week, that prolongs for a long period of time, which is why it is referred to as the “100-day cough”. Lasting for two months or more, the infection progresses through several stages.

Some other symptoms may be observed in young children. However, if a fully vaccinated child or adult is infected, there may not be any severe symptoms.

Studies have found that young children are at higher risk from complications from the virus, with babies under three months found to be at the highest risk of complications, hospitalization and even death.

The public health authority has urged parents who have not given vaccine doses to children under seven years of age, to complete their vaccination at the earliest. Vaccination has been made available at health care centers across all islands.

HPA has also urged patients with fever, cough or additional difficulties or have other long-term conditions, babies or pregnant women to seek medical attention without delay if they experience prolonged coughing.

Pertussis has been largely controlled in the archipelago nation, with regular vaccination.

Some of the symptoms of the virus include stuffy nose, runny nose, fever and mild coughing in the first stage. Within two weeks of contracting the virus, patients may notice increased severity of these symptoms and more symptoms like vomiting and a “whoop” like sound.

HPA revealed that very young children may even stop breathing for a short period, instead of coughing.

Prolonged coughing is the most common symptom among vaccinated people and the infection is usually treated with prescribed antibiotics.

The most common complication observed in the illness is pneumonia or lung infection. However, complications may be avoided by vaccinating.

Vaccination can reduce the chance of getting infected and getting sick.

The Pentavalent Vaccine, which is given to prevent the disease, can be administered to babies at two months, four months and six months of age. In addition to this, DPT boosters are administered at the age of four. It is of utmost importance to complete these doses at the appropriate times.

Last updated at: 3 months ago
Reviewed by: Maryam Dhaanish Nasheed