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MM registers 600% increase in measles cases

Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - December 12, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Health (DOH) raised the measles alert in Metro Manila yesterday after the metropolis registered a 600-percent increase in cases this year.

Based on the partial reports of the DOH’s Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit for Metro Manila, there were 179 confirmed measles cases in the region from Jan. 1 to Dec. 10.

DOH director for National Capital Region Dr. Eduardo Janairo said this is 616 percent higher compared to the 25 cases recorded during the same period last year.

Janairo said two deaths were reported in the cities of Malabon and Muntinlupa. The ages of the victims ranged from one month to 37 years but majority belonged to the one to four-year-old age group.

He added that they observed the “rapid increase” in measles cases in the cities of Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, Caloocan, Manila and Parañaque.

Las Piñas recorded 44 cases, followed by Muntinlupa (32), Caloocan (26), Manila (22), Parañaque (15), Malabon (10), Quezon (eight), Taguig (eight), Navotas (seven), Pasay (four), Makati (two) and Pasig (one.)

The cities of Mandaluyong, Marikina, San Juan, Valenzuela and municipality of Pateros recorded zero cases of measles for 2013.

Janairo asked parents to watch their children for symptoms of measles, which can be spread through coughing and sneezing and direct contact with infected persons’ nose or mouth secretions.

“Everyone should take necessary precaution because measles is a severe disease that causes complications like ear infections, pneumonia and even inflammation of the brain,” he said.

Measles usually begins with symptoms similar to the common cold – such as high fever, cough, runny nose, and red eyes – that can last for several days before the appearance of a red, blotchy rash.

“If you believe you were exposed to someone with measles, you should observe for measles symptoms to appear after nine days. Some persons can be affected immediately before the rash appears four days after being exposed,” Janairo said.

He urged everyone to make sure that they and the members of their families’ measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccinations are up to date.

“Measles vaccination not only protects the person but also serves as safeguard to family members who are too young to get the vaccine or haven’t received it yet. Receiving two doses of measles vaccine is highly effective in preventing measles,” he said.

CALOOCAN DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH DR. EDUARDO JANAIRO JANAIRO LAS PI MALABON AND MUNTINLUPA MANILA AND PARA MEASLES METRO MANILA
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