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Wearing face masks amid pertussis parents’ discretion: DepEd XI 

THE DEPARTMENT of Education (DepEd) XI encouraged parents to use wise discretion whether to allow their children to wear face masks in schools or not.

DepEd XI spokesperson Jenielito Atillo acknowledged wearing face masks will prevent contracting pertussis (whooping cough), but the central office has not issued an order requiring additional protection for students. 

“We encourage the parents to use their wise discretion. We would rather, that they order their children to wear masks for protection,” Atillo said during the iSpeak Media Forum on April 4.

In line with the increasing pertussis cases in the region, he said the department will utilize the strategy and protocols employed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The City Health Office revealed two confirmed cases of pertussis as of April 4 but stopped short of declaring an outbreak.

Dr. Julinda K. Acosta, CHO Technical Division chief, advised early consultation for children and adults to get immediate medical attention in government health centers.

The Southern Philippines Medical Center also logged 10 pertussis cases, with one mortality for the first quarter of 2024.

Dr. Ma. Delta Aguilar, SPMC Pediatrics-Infectious Disease Cluster for Reemerging Disease chief, told those with cough and respiratory diseases to wear face masks to avoid spreading the disease.

CHO and SPMC advised parents to have their children receive the pentavalent vaccine as early as six weeks old to avoid complications in the future.

Pertussis is a vaccine-preventable disease through the pentavalent vaccine which can protect children against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis.



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