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Use of herbs vs pertussis pushed

SEN. Francis Tolentino urged the use of herbal medicines against pertussis (whooping cough) as the Department of Health (DoH) awaits the pentavalent vaccine against the disease that has already claimed the lives of many babies across the country.

A pertussis outbreak has been reported in several areas in the Philippines, and over 450 cases have been recorded so far.

The senator on Tuesday said that «lagundi,» a common herbal medicine for cough and cold, is abundant throughout the archipelago. Tolentino, however, advised the public to consult a doctor on its preparation and administration.

Health Undersecretary Eric Tayag said lagundi preparations are available in syrup and capsule forms.

DoH adviser Dr. Tony Leachon said pertussis is not as severe as Covid-19.

«It is not as severe as Covid because Covid did not have a vaccine at the time [referring to the early stages], and there was no immunity. With pertussis, if you are given a vaccine, you will be protected. However, our problem is the anticipation because we don't have a vaccine, according to the DoH, as these will arrive in June,» he said.

Leachon said Covid-19 protocols, such as physical distancing and frequent handwashing, could be used to prevent pertussis.


The DoH said the areas currently affected by pertussis include Quezon City (25 cases), Iloilo City (seven), Cavite Province (36 with six deaths), Rizal (31), Laguna (28), Batangas (24), Quezon Province (10), Lucena City (two), Taguig City (eight) and Pasig City (25 with two deaths).