Thai health officials urge pertussis vaccination amid whooping cough outbreak

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Following a severe outbreak of pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, Thai health officials are urging parents to get their children vaccinated. The announcement was made today (December 26) by Chalermphol Osothpromma, the director of the Disease Control Office 12 in Songkhla. He revealed that there have been 45 confirmed cases in the health district 12, with one death in Pattani Province.

As per Chalermphol, the most affected are children under one year of age, accounting for approximately 43.86% of the total cases. The majority of these children had not received the pertussis vaccination. He further added that in the areas experiencing an outbreak, the coverage of the DTP3 vaccine (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis) was only 62%, considerably lower than the 90% threshold needed for community-level immunity.

Thailand has reported a total of 506 cases of pertussis from January 1 to November 9, with 57 confirmed cases and one death. Pertussis is a highly infectious respiratory disease caused by bacteria, leading to inflammation of the respiratory tract. It is easily transmitted through coughing, sneezing, and contact with secretions or personal items of an infected person.

“Symptoms of the disease usually appear 7 to 10 days after infection, with a maximum duration of up to 20 days. Patients will have a low fever, runny nose, and continuous cough for about a week, after which they will begin to show significant symptoms of the disease such as coughing in sets,” Chalermphol explained.

He emphasised that parents should ensure their children below six years of age are fully vaccinated according to the prescribed schedule. This includes receiving shots at two, four, six, 18 months, and a booster shot at four years of age. For areas currently experiencing an outbreak, such as Pattani and Narathiwat provinces, children under one year should complete three shots of the vaccine.

Chalermphol also stressed that pregnant women should get the pertussis vaccination between 27 and 36 weeks of pregnancy. Additionally, adults living in a household with small children should also get vaccinated, to prevent transmission of the disease to children in the family.

Thailand News

Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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