Measles Outbreak: 22 Die In Philippine’s Regions

09 February, 2019, 22:24 | Author: Denise Dawson
  • Measles outbreak declared in Philippines

Manila, Philippines: cases of measles flooded hospitals in Manila, in which seven were reported dead due to lack of vaccination for the infectious disease.

Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III made the declaration during a media conference urging parents to vaccinate their children, the Bangkok Post reported.

Based on validated data, Duque said 575 cases including nine deaths have been recorded in Calabarzon, a figure that represented a 2,538 increase over the measles cases reported past year.

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.

According to Unicef estimates, about 2.5 million children under five years old are not vaccinated for measles.

In Region 4-A, the province with the highest number of measles cases is Rizal with 226, followed by Laguna with 115; Batangas, 114; Cavite, 87; and Quezon, 18, the regional office said.

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. This led the DOH to suspend its immunisation programme that had begun under then President Benigno Aquino III.

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Aside from parents, the UNICEF also urged the government to "support the mobilization of health workers, to disseminate the right information and address any fear and mistrust of vaccines".

"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.

At least 22 people, mostly children, have died but the tally is expected to rise.

"Vaccinations to prevent measles is available free of cost in government health centers". Measles is an airborne disease that infects the respiratory tract, and its complications include severe diarrhea, pneumonia, blindness, and even death. "The [Health] secretary was saying that some of our people are reluctant to undergo immunization by reason of the Dengvaxia scandal".

But she reminded parents yesterday that immunity from diseases is "the best inheritance" they could leave their children.

Vaccination for rotavirus, Japanese encephalitis, PCV and HPV were included under the coverage of RA 10152. "I think, baka ma-question pa 'yan sa korte [perhaps it will be questioned in court] somehow", Nograles told reporters.

In a statement, UNICEF said the reported deaths of children from the vaccine-preventable disease are "unacceptable".

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