Published: Sat, February 09, 2019
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

Measles Outbreak Declared in Philippine Capital, Nearby Areas

Measles Outbreak Declared in Philippine Capital, Nearby Areas

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

In Manila alone, the number of patients with measles rose to 441 as of Jan 26, up from 36 in 2018.

"We are declaring an outbreak as cases have increased in the past weeks and to strengthen surveillance of new cases and alert mothers and caregivers to be more vigilant", Mr Duque said in a statement.

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

The most affected region is Calabarzon, which includes the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon, with 575 cases, including nine deaths.

Four hundred forty one cases were reported in metropolitan Manila, which spans 16 cities and one town, a 1,125 per cent increase from previous year.

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In 2017, French firm Sanofi Pasteur disclosed that the Dengvaxia dengue vaccine posed risks to people, who had not been infected before immunisation.

Community health nurse Mylene Pontanos injects a measles vaccine to a child in Barangay Payatas.

"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.

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.

The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday pushed for mandatory immunization of children in the wake of a measles outbreak but a senior Malacañang official said this was not necessary and the proposal could face legal challenge.

The sharp increase in measles cases and deaths prompted senators to call on the public to get children vaccinated.

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"Vaccinations to prevent measles is available free of cost in government health centers". "The [Health] secretary was saying that some of our people are reluctant to undergo immunization by reason of the Dengvaxia scandal".

The disease's complications included diarrhea, middle ear infection, pneumonia (infection of the lungs), encephalitis (swelling of the brain), malnutrition, blindness which may lead to death. "Let's have them inoculated before the outbreak of measles worsens", Sen. It said 60 had died, all of them children under 4.

The justice department filed criminal charges against more than 30 health officials for the deaths of about 100 children which a probe by the Public Attorney's Office had linked to Dengvaxia.

The health department reported that vaccine coverage rate plunged to 40 per cent a year ago (2018) from 70 per cent in 2017.

"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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