Measles Outbreak In NCR Declared By DOH

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Officials on Friday ordered all health workers on the ground to conduct a house-to-house campaign especially in "barangay" (villages) where there has been a noticeable and alarming increase in the number of measles cases that led to the declaration of a breakout of the childhood disease in most of the country's regions.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles disagreed, saying he did not believe compulsory immunization was needed.

"Hindi naman siguro kelangan 'yan [Mandatory immunization] may not be necessary".

"With regard to the government's immunization program under the DoH, the DoH has been directed to boost communication efforts on the importance of vaccination, with the active involvement of government media entities like the PCOO", he said.

As of 26 January there have been 1,813 measles cases and 26 deaths, according to the Department of Health Epidemiology Bureau.

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. In Luzon, 192 cases were reported with four deaths. For the whole year of 2018, NCR registered 3, 646 measles cases as to against 351 cases in 2017.

No deaths were reported in the 155 reported cases reported among adults between the ages of 19 and 41. The hospital records 48 cases of measles per day on average.

The health department recently said that 830,000 school children aged 9 and older were given the drug, a revision from an earlier estimate of 740,000.

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READ: 22 die in suspected measles outbreak The Health department said 90 percent of those infected with measles had not been vaccinated.

The DOH said there was "low vaccine coverage because of the Dengvaxia scare".

Measles, caused by a virus that infects the respiratory tract, can be passed through direct contact and through the air.

Initial symptoms, which usually appear between 10 to 12 days after infection, include high fever, a runny nose, bloodshot eyes, and tiny white spots on the inside of the mouth.

The capital region of Metro Manila has seen 441 cases, with five deaths, CNN Philippines reports, while many other areas across the country have also been affected.

As of February 1, the QC Health Department managed to vaccinate a total of 965 children. "I urge parents and communities to take their children to the health center to be immunized".

Vaccination for rotavirus, Japanese encephalitis, PCV and HPV were included under the coverage of RA 10152. All they have to do is just have their children checked.