Measles outbreak declared in Manila

Measles outbreak declared in Manila

Department of Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo said the relatively low number of measles vaccinations in the country could be attributed to the aborted Dengvaxia vaccination program that began in 2016.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque told reporters on Thursday (Feb 7) measles cases in Manila and in seven other regions had risen more than five-fold to 1,500 so far this year from just 250 a year ago.

The Department of Health said it has seen a 550 percent increase in the number of recorded measle cases in the capital city during the first month of 2019 compared to the year before, ABS-CBN News reported.

Aside from the two areas, the Health department expanded the measles-outbreak scope to Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) Western Visayas and Central Visayas.

An outbreak of measles is spreading across the Philippines - with more than 1,500 cases of the disease and 26 deaths reported in recent weeks, authorities say. In Metro Manila, meanwhile, there were five deaths, and in Luzon, there were 192 cases and four deaths.

Without referring to Acosta by name, Duque said the "drama that they were doing ... really caused a damage to the integrity and effectiveness of the DOH to conduct and ensure that there will be adequate immunization coverage so that [the public] will be protected from vaccine-preventable diseases".

This prompted the DOH to suspend its immunisation programme, which was launched by President Benigno Aquino III.

Duque has sought to assure parents that the vaccination for measles is not similar to the Dengvaxia vaccine.

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Measles can spread easily through coughs and sneezes.

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

Measles, locally known as "tigdas", is a highly contagious viral disease that is transmitted via droplets from the nose, mouth or throat of infected persons.

"Vaccinations to prevent measles is available free of cost in government health centers".

Its complications include severe diarrhea, pneumonia, blindness and even death, according to the Health department. There is an outbreak of measles in the region. "He was saddened, so he said it should be addressed immediately", Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said.

In a news conference, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei Nograles on Friday said the government might face legal issues in court if it implemented mandatory immunization for children. It said 60 had died, all of them children under 4.

Previous year under the routine immunization strategy, the coverage reached 54 percent or 113,209 children out of 210,291 target.

"I hope concerns like this should not be politicized because the lives of the children are at stake here", she said.

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