Measles cases nearly triple in January: DOH

MANILA –The Department of Health (DOH) has reported a rise in number of measles cases nationwide from January 1 to February 3 of this year as it noted that there were a total of 877 suspected measles cases recorded.

“This is almost triple times the number of cases reported during the same period last year which totaled to 293 cases,” the DOH Measles Disease Surveillance Report bared.

Based on the report, there were 12 deaths recorded from Region 11 (Davao Region), Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and Region 12 (Soccsksargen).

Top reasons for non-vaccination of measles were mother was busy (25 percent); not eligible for vaccination (24 percent); and child was sick (15 percent), the report said.

Other reasons include forgetting the schedule; fear of side effects; against beliefs; no vaccine available; far from health center; transferred residence; parents refuse; history of travel; some were in war conflict areas; lack of knowledge, vaccinator not available; and medical contraindication.

Previously, outbreaks have been declared in Davao City and Zamboanga City wherein rise of cases reached epidemic thresholds that prompted investigation and led to declaration of outbreaks.

DOH Undersecretary Enrique Domingo said that at present, some activities were being done in addressing the gaps.

Domingo said that DOH also issued memorandum to all regions emphasizing all provinces, cities, municipalities to conduct selective house to house immunization and to intensify the information campaign on prevention and early consultation.