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BAGUIO CITY – Health authorities disclosed that measles cases in the different parts of the Cordillera increased by 847 percent from January to September this year with some 985 cases compared to the only 104 cases during the same period last year.
Based on the data obtained from the Cordillera office of the Department of Health (DOH-CAR) regional epidemiology and surveillance unit (RESU), there were 4 measles-related deaths that were recorded by the health department compared to the zero deaths last year which is now a cause of alarm among health experts from the different district health units.
Experts explained that measles is an acute viral illness caused by measles virus and characterized by fever, conjunctivitis, cough, coryza and small spots with white or bluish white centers on an erythematous base on the buccal mucosa known as koplik spots.
Further, measles is reportedly transmitted through direct contact with nasal or throat secretions of infected persons or by articles freshly soiled with the said secretions.
Health experts warned that the disease is highly communicable and it is estimated at 90 percent of non-immune people exposed to an infected individual will contract the said viral disease, thus, prompt reporting of all measles suspect cases and immediate investigation to determine the possible cause of the positive cases in the provinces are highly significant.
Health officials advised the disease reporting units in the different parts of the region to make sure every detected case will have a specimen for laboratory confirmation and timely interventions by the concerned health authorities who will be present in the provinces.
Health authorities in the region and the provinces are urging parents of children aged 0 to 59 months to have their children vaccinated against measles in the different rural health facilities to prevent their young kids from contracting the dreaded illness that compromise the health condition of the young ones, especially when exposed to individuals having the said virus.
Because of the issue on Dengvaxia, health personnel admitted the vaccination rate in all health centers in the country drastically dropped over the past several years which prompted the health department to institute the needed information and education campaign to convince parents to have their children vaccinated against different illness to prevent them from contracting such diseases that could affect their health condition and their growth.
However, health experts admit the confidence of the public on the government’s massive vaccination program against various forms of illnesses that pose a serious threat to health have improved because of the series of outbreaks of dreaded illnesses in the different parts of the country that called for the appropriate immunization given to age-appropriate children who need to be spared from the serious negative effects of such illnesses.