Eight towns in the province of Iloilo have recorded confirmed cases of pertussis or whopping cough, data from the Provincial Health Office (PHO) showed.

Santa Barbara recorded two confirmed cases while Dumangas, Balasan, Tubungan, Cabatuan, Banate, Pavia and San Joaquin logged one case each.

PHO also registered seven suspected cases of the highly contagious bacterial infection in Miagao (2), Dumangas (1), Badiangan (1), Concepcion (1), Anilao (1) and Guimbal (1).

Of the confirmed pertussis infections, two died while one of the suspected infections passed away. The fatalities were from Dumangas, Miagao and Balasan.

Dr. Maria Socorro Quiñon, PHO head, said most of those infected are infants and not vaccinated.

Pertussis, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), can be transmitted through droplets produced by coughing or sneezing.

Its common symptoms are mild fever, runny or stuffy nose, and cough that appear about a week after infection.IMT