By Connie Calipay

Department of Health-Bicol regional office in Legazpi City. (PNA file photo)

LEGAZPI CITY – The Department of Health-Center for Health Development Bicol (DOH-CHD-5) reported 35 clinical and laboratory cases of the highly contagious respiratory infection pertussis on Friday.

Eleven cases were confirmed through laboratory tests by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, while the others are clinical cases or patients exhibiting symptoms.

Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, spreads quickly in the early stage before the coughing begins.

The disease spreads through droplets from cough or sneeze of an infected person. Symptoms include colds, fever and cough that lasts for one to two weeks.

Based on the data of the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit, the recorded cases are from Albay, 14; Camarines Sur, 12; Sorsogon, 7; and Masbate, 2.

The provinces of Camarines Norte and Catanduanes have no cases.

“This whooping cough can be followed by vomiting, blacking out or the patient turning blue due to difficulty breathing. When you feel any of the symptoms of pertussis, immediately consult the nearest health center to prevent and provide appropriate medical attention,” the DOH-CHD-5 news release said.

The health office urges the public to seek medical