Measles outbreak hits Sarangani; 17 dead
Diomedes Remitar, Malapatan municipal health office chief, yesterday said the victims, including infants, died several days after showing symptoms of severe measles infection.
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Measles outbreak hits Sarangani; 17 dead
(The Philippine Star) - November 27, 2018 - 12:00am

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Philippines — At least 17 children have died of measles in Malapatan town in Sarangani in the past three weeks.

Diomedes Remitar, Malapatan municipal health office chief, yesterday said the victims, including infants, died several days after showing symptoms of severe measles infection.

Remitar said the outbreak was monitored in Sitios Lower and Upper Kyogam, Mahayag, Lino, Datal Nai and Alna in Barangay Upper Suyan.

He said around 500 infants and children in the area were given anti-measles vaccination.

A report on news.abs-cbn.com quoted Remitar as saying that they are having difficulty getting information because the victims are residents of a remote village, which could be reached only after around 20 hours of trekking.

Based on information relayed by barangay health workers and officials, the affected areas are inhabited by the B’laan tribe.

“These are considered suspected measles cases as we have not conducted confirmatory tests on the fatalities,” Remitar said.

He said it is possible that the fatalities suffered from other diseases.

At least 23 residents of Barangay Upper Suyan, who complained of high fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis and flu-like symptoms, were confined at the R.O. Diagan Hospital yesterday.

Hospital records showed that 15 of the patients, who were confirmed measles cases, were isolated.

Boyet Ogan, chairman of Barangay Upper Suyan, said they recorded around 100 cases, mostly infants and children.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health (DOH) said five provinces remain at risk for malaria.

At a media forum, Raffy Deray, DOH national malaria coordinator, said the number of malaria cases in the country has significantly dropped, adding that the DOH is “on track” to meet its goals.

However, Deray said Palawan, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao, Sulu and Mindoro Occidental have not been declared free from the disease.

Marvi Trudeau, program manager of Pilipinas Shell Foundation Inc. (PSFI), said 95 percent of the cases are from Palawan, particularly in Rizal town.

“The people in Rizal are nomadic in nature. They are always on the move, but we are doing our best to  catch up with them.  We are looking for ways to make sure that they are covered by the program,” Trudeau said.

The DOH, PSFI and other government agencies have been working to eliminate malaria in the country since 1999.– PNA, Sheila Crisostomo

MEASLES OUTBREAK
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