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Oct 5, 2012

Whooping cough cases positive in Cayo

Natalia Beer

Recently, the Ministry of Health announced that thirteen suspected cases of whooping cough or Pertussis had been detected. The preliminary results of five of the cases have returned from the Caribbean Epidemiology Center (CAREC) in Trinidad and Tobago. Doctor Natalia Beer of the Ministry of Health spoke to News Five about the results.


Via Phone: Dr. Natalia Beer, Maternal and Child Health, Ministry of Health

The Ministry of Health was informed of some severe causes of cough among children and adult population in Springfield Community in Cayo District. Since then, a lot of field work have been conducted. We have been reviewing the vaccination coverage countrywide because it is known that one of the best way to prevent Pertussis is by the use of vaccines. So the Ministry of Health does have the vaccines that can be accessed at any health facility. We have been investigating the cases, visiting the contact having health education with the community for preventive measures. Samples were taken. We had a total of fifteen suspect cases and so far only three has come back positive—two children and one adult. We recommend preventive measures. If the children, who are suspected of having Pertussis is attending school, have them not to attend school. With adults avoid visiting public spaces. The issue with the vaccine, it does not protect life because we are dealing with a bacteria. But if the person is vaccinated, then the immune response is much better when the patient comes in contact with the bacteria. Pertussis, the bacteria is around us, but we don’t see it as a disease because the majority of the population is vaccinated. These cases, the majority if not all are among unvaccinated population.”


Doctor Beer says that the Ministry is confident that with the country’s high vaccine rate, the illness would not affect the population. The cases so far have been limited to Springfield, Cayo.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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