Three cases of whooping cough identified in GA. Villingili

Pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, once controlled in the Maldives, has reemerged with three confirmed cases identified in Ga. Villingili.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) said contact tracing is being carried out jointly by Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) and Gaafu Alifu Atoll Hospital. Antibiotic prophylaxis will be administered to infants and pregnant women who had contact with the infected individuals.

The Gaafu Alifu Atoll Hospital has formed a special task force to contain the spread of the disease, closely coordinating efforts with relevant entities on the island.

Pertussis, transmitted through the respiratory tract, initially presents symptoms resembling a common cold. After about a week, a prolonged and severe cough may manifest, particularly in children who might also experience additional symptoms. Fully vaccinated individuals, however, may not exhibit severe symptoms.

As children are particularly susceptible to the disease, authorities have advised immediate vaccination for all unvaccinated children below seven years of age. The HPA urges those with prolonged cough ad other cough-related symptoms to seek the advice of a health care provider immediately, especially, those with chronic diseases, children, and pregnant women.