The measles outbreak, originally declared in Metro Manila, has now extended to four more regions, the Department of Health (DOH) said Thursday as it perceived the rising number of cases in the earlier weeks.
The four new regions hit by the measles outbreak are Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon), Central Luzon, Western Visayas, and Central Visayas.
Appalled after learning about the measles outbreak in National Capital Region (NCR) that then killed at least 55 people, President Duterte ordered the DOH to quickly address the health issue, Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said Thursday.
The President also established a more concentrated campaign for the full immunization of children.
In Calabarzon, 575 cases were already recorded with nine deaths; Central Luzon, 192 cases with four deaths; Western Visayas, 104 cases with three deaths; and Central Visayas, 71 cases with one death.
“We are expanding the outbreak from Metro Manila to other regions as cases have increased in the past weeks and to strengthen surveillance of new cases and alert mothers and caregivers to be more vigilant,” said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III during a press briefing at the DOH Central office in Manila.
NCR: 1,125% increase
The DOH said that as of January 26, NCR recorded 441 cases, which is 1,125 percent higher compared to the 36 cases recorded in 2018.
Last week, President Duterte pressed Filipinos, especially parents of newborns, to have their children vaccinated as a public trust with immunization plummeted due to the Dengvaxia, or the anti-Dengue vaccine, mess.
“Do not be complacent about it kasi ang sanggol talaga kailangan. Iyong Dengvaxia lang (because the child really needs it. It’s just the Dengvaxia),” he said.
Moreover, Duque said that there is no new strain of measles in the country.
“There is no known new strain of measles virus. Marami lang talaga because of unvaccinated status or defaulters,” he said.
News source: Manila Bulletin