Measles outbreak declared in NCR, 196 confirmed cases

08 Février, 2019, 16:29 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
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Authorities in the Philippines have declared an outbreak of measles in several places across the country, including in Manila.

The Department of Health (DOH) cited a 550 percent rise in the number of patients infected with the disease from January 1 to February 6, from the same period past year, and said the figure was likely to rise.

Partial report of CHD-6's immunization coverage showed that only 61 percent of babies, who were supposed to have their first dose at nine months old, had been vaccinated.

Ernell Tumimbang said the provincial government has strengthened its immunization program to address the cases, which significantly increased in the past year.

Parents have been reluctant to have their children immunised at government health centres, after a series of childhood deaths linked to the Dengvaxia dengue vaccine.

There is now increasing concern for the 2.4 million unvaccinated children.

A study past 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.

Sanofi has unequivocally said its product is safe, but Manila still halted the campaign and left hundreds of thousands of terrified parents wondering if their children were at risk.

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For the DOH, the regions need to scale up their response against measles and have all children vaccinated. It it likely to have fallen further previous year.

Its signs and symptoms include cough, runny nose, red eyes, conjunctivitis, fever and skin rashes lasting for more than three days.

Measles is a highly contagious airborne disease which spreads easily through coughs and sneezes.

What's unsafe about measles is it's contagious even before the rash appears.

"Parents should not wait for complications to set in because it might be too late", he said.

The announcement came a day after the DOH officially declared a measles outbreak in Metro Manila, also called the National Capital Region (NCR), after it has noted a sharp increase in the number of measles cases.

In addition to the NCR area, health officials are also closely monitoring the Ilocos region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa (Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan), Bicol region, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Cordillera region, and Caraga for measles.

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