Leachon calls for face mask mandate in pertussis outbreak areas
Leachon calls for face mask mandate in pertussis outbreak areas
Leachon calls for face mask mandate in pertussis outbreak areas
by Ellicia Del Mundo24 March 2024

Public health expert Tony Leachon on Sunday, March 24, called for a face mask mandate in areas where pertussis or whooping cough outbreaks have been declared.

In an interview with DZRH, Leachon said Health Secretary Ted Herbosa should implement a face mask policy in pertussis outbreak areas to curb the transmission of the respiratory disease.

"Kung ang reproduction number nito ay 18 na tao, eh during the pandemic we were protected by the masks eh. I think, we due respect to our Secretary Ted Herbosa, magpa-mask mandate ka muna in the outbreak areas," he said.

Pertussis, according to Leachon, is common among infants, children, and unvaccinated adults. The symptoms include fever, sore throat, and cough.


The public health expert mentioned that the low vaccination rate and the ease of preventive health measures make people vulnerable to COVID-19 and respiratory infections like pertussis.

"When you expose ang mga tao na hindi pa sanay sa mikrobyo ng environment, madali silang mahawa. Hindi lang COVID, but also non-COVID infection. That goes for virus as well as bacteria. Kaya tayo ngayon, wala na tayong facemask, wala nang proteksyon sa sarili natin. Lahat tayo naglalabasan na, particularly in this time of period, nagkaroon na ng ganitong outbreak," he explained.

Leachon also recommended that Herbosa declare a national emergency to prompt government agencies as well as the medical community and private sectors to implement intervention against pertussis.

The Metro Manila mayors, he said, should also convene to make a "blueprint" on the assistance of medical assistance to barangays affected by the said respiratory infection.

In addition, the public health expert said the local media should lead a massive information drive to educate the public about the symptoms of pertussis and provide guidance on appropriate actions to take if infected.


"Kasi ang problema, may problem pero hindi alam ng tao kung paano magpapabakuna [laban sa pertussis]," Leachon pointed out.

Last March 20, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte declared pertussis or whooping cough outbreak after the city logged 23 cases of the contagious respiratory infection.

In Pasig, the city's public information office recorded 25 pertussis cases, 17 cases were confirmed and 8 were probable cases. Two of the 17 confirmed cases reportedly passed away.

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