Measles Outbreak In Philippines, Most Dead Are Children

Henrietta Strickland
February 8, 2019

For the whole year of 2018, NCR registered 3, 646 measles cases as to against 351 cases in 2017.

Dr. Mary Jane Juanico, medical coordinator for child health program of DOH-CHD 6, said that in the previous year, the CHD-6 has recorded 245 confirmed measles cases from out of the 1,052 suspected cases in Western Visayas.

Numerous cases were recorded in the cities of Quezon, Caloocan, Marikina, Pasig, Navotas and Paranaque.

More measles cases are being detected in and outside Metro Manila, prompting the Philippine Department of Health (DOH) to expand the declaration of a measles outbreak in several provinces in the Philippine main Luzon island and in the Visayas region in the central Philippines.

Ernell Tumimbang said the provincial government has strengthened its immunization program to address the cases, which significantly increased in the past year. The hospital records 48 cases of measles per day on average.

On directions of the Federal Health Minister Aamer Mehmood Kiani, the Ministry of National Health Services has taken cognizance of reported measles outbreak in Philippines. Initial symptoms usually include a fever, cough, runny nose and inflamed eyes.

The disease's complications include diarrhea, middle ear infection, pneumonia (infection of the lungs), encephalitis (swelling of the brain), malnutrition, blindness which may lead to death.

"Learning from the UNICEF family about the outbreak of the measles, you know, this is why it's very important to have proper immunization", Curtis said during an event by UNICEF.

He adds, "What's more risky about measles is it's contagious even before the rash appears". You think it's a simple flu, cough, colds, it turns out, it's measles.

Vice President Leni Robredo also expressed concern over the recent outbreak, urging the Duterte administration to encourage the public to start vaccinating their children and gain back their trust after the Dengvaxia scare.

A study previous year (2018) by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said public confidence in vaccines in the Philippines plunged to 32 per cent from 93 per cent in 2015 because of the government's "highly politicised" response to the Dengvaxia scare.

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease that can be transferred from person-to-person through sneezing, coughing, and close personal contact.

He advises everyone, "Try to avoid people who are sick, and if you are sick, it's better to stay at home so you won't infect others".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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