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DOH: Measles cases continue to increase  

Mayen Jaymalin - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Measles cases nationwide have continued to rise, according to the Department of Health (DOH).

The latest DOH measles surveillance report showed that 515 measles cases, with one death were recorded from Jan. 1 to Nov. 5.

The DOH said the number of cases this year is an increase of 201 percent compared to the 171 reported during the same period last year.

Calabarzon posted the highest number of cases with 93 followed by Central Visayas with 67 and National Capital Region, 64.

Central Visayas recorded the highest increase from five last year to 67 this year followed by Mimaropa, from two to 21 and Central Luzon, from nine to 41.

No death due to measles was recorded last year.

The DOH had previously reported that all the 17 regions in the country are at high risk for a measles outbreak.

The increase in measles cases was blamed on the low immunization rate among children in the past few years.

Records show that 1.6 million children were unvaccinated for measles in 2021.

DOH epidemiology bureau director Dr. Alethea de Guzman said up to three million children may have been unvaccinated. The  department has yet to account for those unvaccinated in the previous years.

DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire had earlier warned the public that a measles outbreak may be imminent next year if the vaccination rate continues to be low.

The department is targeting a vaccination rate of 95 percent.

The DOH said measles outbreak usually occurs in the country every four to five years. The last outbreak occurred between 2018 and 2019.

DOH

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