Philippines: measles cases sharply increase in Manila

Anne Curtis was named UNICEF national goodwill ambassador on Thursday. Shiela Reyes ABS-CBN News

Anne Curtis was named UNICEF national goodwill ambassador on Thursday. Shiela Reyes ABS-CBN News

Marlyn M. Convocar, DOH 6 (Western Visayas) director, said that measles isolation rooms were imposed in DOH-run hospitals in the region, such as the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital in Bacolod City; the Don Jose Monfort Medical Center Extension Hospital in Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo; the Western Visayas Sanitarium in Santa Barbara, Iloilo; and the Western Visayas Medical Center in Mandurriao, Iloilo City. READ: "Measles under control" In San Lazaro Hospital alone, at least 248 children and 21 adults are being treated for measles, according to its spokesperson.

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

The Department of Health (DOH) today declared a measles outbreak at the National Capital Region (NCR).

The vaccine's maker, Sanofi, set off a panic when it said a new analysis showed Dengvaxia could lead to more severe symptoms for people who had not previously been infected with dengue.

DOH earlier declared a measles outbreak in Metro Manila following the 550 percent increase in patients contracting the virus from January 1 to February 6 this year compared with the same period last year.

The health department believes the spike in cases are due to parents opting not to have their children vaccinated for measles and other highly contagious diseases.

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

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In early 2016, the health department, under then President Benigno Aquino, rolled out a 3.5 billion-peso (S$91 million) programme to inoculate a million school-age children with Dengvaxia to protect them against dengue, a mosquito-borne disease that afflicts hundreds of millions of people around the world.

Last year, there were 245 confirmed from out of the 1,052 suspected measles cases.

"Nutritional support and oral rehydration are important measures to increase body resistance and replace lost body fluids caused by coughing, diarrhea, and perspiration", Duque added.

"To the parents, let's not take the health of our children for granted".

Pakistan has only recently carried out its largest-ever measles vaccination campaign for children.

He said the Department of Health is also expected to work closely with the Presidential Communications Operations Office in raising public awareness about the importance of vaccines to ensure public health. "I can not be blaming her for that", he said.

Community health nurse Mylene Pontanos injects a measles vaccine to a child in Barangay Payatas. All they have to do is just have their children checked.

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