5 regions surpass measles epidemic threshold

Mayen Jaymalin - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Five regions in the country have exceeded the measles epidemic threshold as cases almost quadrupled compared to last year, the Department of Health (DOH) reported yesterday.

The DOH said these are Metro Manila, Cagayan Valley, Calabarzon, Bicol and Central Visayas.

Calabarzon logged the highest number of cases with 16 followed by Eastern Visayas with 12.

The National Capital Region, Central Visayas and Northern Mindanao each recorded seven cases.

Measles clusters were reported in Barangay Caranglaan in Dagupan, Pangasinan and Barangay Balangasan in Pagadian, Zamboanga del Sur.

The DOH recorded 450 measles cases with two deaths from January to Sept. 17, an increase of 153 percent compared to the 178 cases reported during the same period last year.

DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire had earlier warned the public against a measles outbreak next year due to low immunization coverage.

She said almost three million children have not received any dose of measles vaccine.

In a forum on Tuesday, Vergeire reminded parents to have their children vaccinated against measles.

“Ang tigdas ay delikado dahil nagkakaroon ng komplikasyon buhat dito. Kaya hindi dapat pinagsasawalang bahala ang tigdas. Ito po ay delikado lalo sa mga kabataan less than five years old,” Vergeire said.

The DOH said measles vaccine coverage has dropped to 62.9 percent.

The department is targeting a 95 percent vaccination rate.

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