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Infectologists request the declaration of a whooping cough epidemic in Skopje

Infectologists request the declaration of a whooping cough epidemic in Skopje
The Commission for Infectious Diseases in North Macedonia has requested the declaration of an epidemic of whooping cough (pertussis) in Skopje, due to the increase in infected cases.

According to the data of the Commission published on Wednesday, there are a total of 18 people affected by whooping cough and of them, 14 cases were registered in Skopje.

The decision of the Commission must be approved by the technical Government of North Macedonia and is seen as a "measure to prevent the spread of the infection".

Whooping cough appeared from the end of December 2023 and among those affected were two babies in a serious state of health.

"Taking into account the latest figures, 18 confirmed cases of whooping cough, and bearing in mind that in recent days this number is increasing, especially in the territory of Skopje, where 14 cases have been confirmed, we propose to recommend the declaration of an epidemic in Skopje", the chairman of the Commission for Infectious Diseases, Aleksandar Petličkovski, said on Wednesday.
The commission has asked kindergartens and schools not to accept children who have not been vaccinated with the DTP vaccine. "This sounds a bit scary, but in reality it should make it easier for us to face the danger that comes with whooping cough. In that direction, we are preparing, that is, we expect to issue a prepared instruction for the treatment of epidemic conditions from the Institute of Public Health, and the key activities are aimed at the completion of vaccination", said Petličkovski.

According to him, the spread of whooping cough is a consequence of the population not being vaccinated.

The Commission for Infectious Diseases says that "the DTP vaccine protects against bacteria that cause three diseases, including 'pertussis' or whooping cough".

According to the annual report of the Institute of Public Health on the vaccination carried out in North Macedonia in 2022, the coverage with primary vaccination with three doses of the DTP vaccine is only 83.9 percent at the state level.