A bottle of the pertussis vaccine against whooping cough and a syringe are show in a pharmacy in Pasadena, California on September 17, 2010. Australia on Thursday warned travellers to the United States to watch out for a whooping cough epidemic which has claimed of nine babies in California. AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
A suspected outbreak of whooping cough has killed a child and 30 others battling its symptoms in the Pateru village in Awerial County, Lakes State.
Lou Magony, 3, succumbed to the disease on Wednesday morning, according to a church leader there.
Abraham Majok Achiek said the respiratory disease, which broke out two weeks ago, is “spreading rapidly” in the area which lacks health services.
“We call on the county health officials to reach this area because the vaccinators hardly come to our area…and the disease is now spreading rapidly,” Majok told Mingkaman FM.
In response, Manyiel Agup, medical officer at the Awerial County health department, confirmed the outbreak of the respiratory disease across the county.
‘Child’s health relies on its mother’
He, however, advised parents to take their children to the health facility for treatment, citing lack of funding to dispatch health workers to the area.
“If we get money to hire the boat, it will be a luck, but the health of the child relies on the mothers. We encourage the parents to bring their children to the facilities for treatment,” he explained.
“However, during this campaign, we still have eight weeks of the campaign and those areas will likely be reachable.”
In December 2022, county health department confirmed 12 cases of whooping cough with four deaths at Magok Payam.
Whooping cough (pertussis) is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection. In many people, it’s marked by a severe hacking cough followed by a high-pitched intake of breath that sounds like “whoop.”
Before the vaccine was developed, whooping cough was considered a childhood disease.