Wednesday, 20 February, 2019

22 dead in measles outbreak in several regions in the Philippines

Measles outbreak declared in Philippines More measles cases detected in Philippines - Xinhua | English.news.cn
Celia Hoffman | 09 February, 2019, 08:13

The City Health Department has noted an increase in parents availing of anti-measles vaccinations in Cebu City.

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.

"Hindi naman siguro kailangan 'yan".

"I think it is important that we rebuild trust and pass on the message very clearly that Dengvaxia is unrelated to the very well-established vaccination programs that have been running in the country for many years and without any doubt has generated huge benefits for those who received vaccination", he added.

As of 26 January this year, 1,813 measles cases and 26 deaths were recorded by the Department of Health Epidemiology Bureau.

"These regions should step up their responses against the highly communicable disease as well as ensure that preventive measures play a vital role in preventing the spread of the disease", Duque said, referring to Eastern and Central Visayas as well as Northern Mindanao where measles breakouts were also declared. In Metro Manila, meanwhile, there were five deaths, and in Luzon, there were 192 cases and four deaths.

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.

No deaths were reported in the 155 reported cases reported among adults between the ages of 19 and 41.

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The QC Health Department is likewise tracing "active defaulters" or children who have missed their scheduled measles immunization.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III announced the news due to the high number of children with measles cases in San Lazaro Hospital.

While the government has made a concerted effort to eradicate the disease, parents' fear over a recent dengue fever vaccine have caused immunization rates to drop, Vice President Leni Robredo said. Measles is an airborne disease that infects the respiratory tract, and its complications include severe diarrhea, pneumonia, blindness, and even death.

As of February 1, the QC Health Department managed to vaccinate a total of 965 children. Ejercito, chairman of the Senate committee on health and demography, stressed the importance of vaccines-administered free in barangay health centers-to prevent the spread of communicable diseases.

Vaccination for rotavirus, Japanese encephalitis, PCV and HPV were included under the coverage of RA 10152.

The country's Public Attorney's Office indicted government officials in connection with deaths linked to the vaccine. "Why deprive them of protection just because of a controversy involving one vaccine?"

With a reports from GLEE JALEA, BERNADETTE E. TAMAYO, JAVIER JOE ISMAEL, EUGENE Y.

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