Measles outbreak declared across Philippines

Pearl Mccarthy
February 9, 2019

Health Secretary Franciso Duque III advised the public to bring their children to the nearest health facility for treatment at the first sign of fever.

DOH's measles vaccination program has been going on for the past 30 years.

The health secretary said that Calabarzon, a collective name for the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon, had the highest number of measles cases at 575, including nine deaths.

Children with measles are treated as their parents accompanied them along a hallway inside the pediatric ward of the San Lazaro Hospital in Manila, the Philippines, Feb. 7, 2019.

In the eastern part of central Philippines, the uptick has been as high as 5,000 per cent, from just a single case a year ago to 54 as of Jan 26.

Authorities said vaccination rates in the Philippines have been declining for years, but also pointed to the recent controversy over the safety of the Dengvaxia dengue vaccine.

Proper immunization should be prioritized to combat the measles outbreak, actress-host Anne Curtis said on Thursday.

Last year, vaccination coverage was reported to be at around 40 percent.

Fire at Flamengo football training centre kills 10 people
The rains led Flamengo to close parts of its social club and cancel regular training sessions it organises for children. None of the victims has been identified but players aged between 14 and 17 are known to have used the dormitory.

Prior to the dengvaxia scare, Corpin said that Cebu City was able to reach 90 percent of the total population for the MMRV vaccination.

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.

The number of measles cases reported in the region have risen dramatically from 2017-in 2018, the DOH EB recorded 3,646 measles cases in the region against the 351 cases in 2017. Duque said outbreak areas should boost preventive measures against the disease.

The Health Ministry has issued a Travel Advisory to Pakistan Citizens in the wake of Measles Outbreak in Philippines.

Amid the outbreak, the House of Representatives also on Friday approved on second reading an act expanding the coverage of the mandatory basic immunization program and providing a system in the determination of other types of vaccine-preventable diseases, amending Republic Act (RA) 10152 or the "Mandatory Infants and Children Health Immunization Act of 2011".

"We encourage government hospitals to convert at least one room into a measles isolation room to prevent the spread of the disease in the health facility", said Dr. Renilyn Reyes, Medical Officer IV, in a press briefing on Friday.

Its complications include severe diarrhea, pneumonia, blindness and even death, according to the Health department. It it likely to have fallen further past year.

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