The Philippine Embassy in Australia wishes to share the following information from the Philippine Department of Health (DOH) on a measles outbreak at the National Capital Region (NCR).
The National Capital Region is composed of 16 cities and one municipality. These are cities of Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela, Quezon City, Marikina, Pasig, Taguig, Makati, Manila, Mandaluyong, San Juan, Pasay, Parañaque, Las Piñas and Muntinlupa, and the lone municipality of Pateros.
The DOH declared the outbreak in order to strengthen surveillance of new cases and alert mothers and caregivers to be more vigilant. The DOH is also advising the general public to bring all suspect cases to the nearest health facility for early treatment and proper case management.
Based on data presented by the DOH Epidemiology Bureau, the number of measles cases at the National Capital Region from 1 to 19 January 2019 has reached 196 cases as compared to 20 cases reported in the said region at the same time period in 2018. For the whole year of 2018, NCR registered 3, 646 measles cases as to against 351 cases in 2017.
Other regions under tight watch by the DOH include regions 1, 2, 3, 4A, 4B, 5, 6,7, 8, 9, CAR, CARAGA. These regions need to likewise scale-up their response against measles and having all unvaccinated children vaccinated against measles, a proven effective and safe measure to further stop its spread.
Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. It is transferred from person-to-person by sneezing, coughing, and close personal contact. Its signs and symptoms include cough, runny nose, red eyes/conjunctivitis, fever, skin rashes lasting for more than 3 days.
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.