Bulgaria brings anti-epidemic measures against whooping cough into effect

Temporary anti-epidemic measures against the spread of whooping cough have come into effect in Bulgaria on May 9, following an order by caretaker Health Minister Galya Kondeva.

There are no restrictions on the movement of people and the work of schools, institutions, traders and establishments.

According to the latest data, there are 843 confirmed cases of whooping cough in Bulgaria. The infection is circulating in 25 districts in the country.

More than 80 per cent of those infected are children under one year old.

The temporary measures are to remain in effect until the end of July 2024.

The measures include free diagnosis with PCR tests in Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna, Pleven and Stara Zagora.

Isolation and treatment of a person confirmed to have whooping cough continues until recovery, but no more than 30 days.

If the case is in a kindergarten or school, disinfection and ventilation must be intensified, children must be screened daily for symptoms such as runny nose, cough and rash.

If showing these symptoms, a child may not be admitted to the premises, and may be admitted only after presenting a medical certificate that he or she is not contagiously ill.

The time frame for immunising a baby against the infection is shortened from eight weeks to six.

Pregnant women may opt to receive a single-dose combined diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus (DPT) immunisation between the 27th and 36th documented week inclusive.

This vaccination is recommended and free of charge and will be administered at the regional health inspectorates and/or at designated medical treatment facilities.

In a report posted on the Health Ministry’s website in addition to Kondeva’s order, Chief State Health Inspector Angel Kunchev said that the epidemic spread of pertussis in Bulgaria is expected to continue in the coming months.

(Photo: Jeff Osborn/ freeimages.com)

The Sofia Globe staff

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