Suspected measles claims 11 lives in Davao

DAVAO CITY — Suspected measles in Davao City has already claimed 11 lives as of January, the City Health Office (CHO) reported.

Based on November 7 to January 23 report of the Department of Health (DoH) 1I Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit, CHO chief Dr. Josephine Villafuerte said the diagnosis of those who died was suspected measles.

But she said the blood samples of the 11 cases were already sent to Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Metro Manila for validation and confirmation.

“We are still waiting for the results,” she said.

For the period reported, Villafuerte said the city recorded 252 cases of which 16 were confirmed of the disease.

In the report from Nov. 7 to 30, 2017, Villafuerte said there were 23 people with suspected measles. The number rapidly increased to 140 from December 3 to 31, 2017.

From January 4 to 13 this year, CHO recorded 42 cases and rose to 47 from January 14 to 23.

She said that with the alarming record, the CHO immediately conducted Outbreak Response Immunization (ORI) especially to the children in different barangays across the city.

DOH 11 is assisting the CHO in terms of logistics and the vaccine supply that will be injected to children.

On Monday night, Villafuerte declared a measles outbreak in the city. She said that with the number of deaths it is enough for her part to declare measles outbreak in the city.

“One case of measles could lead to an outbreak. Most especially, if the immunity is low because the coverage of immunization is also low,” she said.

She explained that the measles virus will immediately spread and anyone could be infected especially those people who have low immune system. Armando Fenequito Jr/