Madang Province is bracing itself for a major Whooping cough influx. The province is making provisions to try to restock their anti-biotic inventory with but due to poor logistics and delays in drug supply, the immunization coverage is low.
The Director of the Madang Provincial Health Authority [PHA], Dr. Mantin Daimen has advised that it is highly likely that the influx will be nationwide.
“We in Madang are bracing ourselves to combat this disease and are expecting a high number of cases,” Dr. Daimen said.
Whooping cough, also known as pertussis or the 100-day cough, is a highly contagious bacterial disease.
Initial symptoms are usually similar to those of the common cold with a runny nose, fever, and mild cough, but these are followed by weeks of severe coughing fits.
After a week or two, signs and symptoms worsen. Thick mucus accumulates inside the airways, causing uncontrollable coughing. Severe and prolonged coughing attacks may:
- Provoke vomiting
- Result in a red or blue face
- Cause extreme fatigue
- Ends with a high-pitched “whoop” sound during the next breath of air.
Sometimes, a persistent hacking cough is the only sign that an adolescent or child has whooping cough.
The Madang PHA is working closely to monitor the situation and is urging parents to report to health centers and hospitals should they notice any of the symptoms.