Doctor Rene Catan, Provincial Health Office (PHO) chief, said there are 40 to 50 measles-infected individuals inside the provincial penitentiary.
Noel Celis/AFP
Measles ‘outbreak’ hits CPDRC
Lorraine Mitzi A. Ambrad (The Freeman) - January 11, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — An "epidemic" struck the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC) after at least 50 of its inmates were confirmed to have measles.

Doctor Rene Catan, Provincial Health Office (PHO) chief, said there are 40 to 50 measles-infected individuals inside the provincial penitentiary.

He said though the cases are just “mild.”

The inmates with measles are now placed in isolation to prevent the spread of the virus. The first case was recorded last week.

The PHO head said the inmates are still being treated to avoid complications, including pneumonia.

Catan said he did not expect the outbreak to happen in the facility, affecting adult inmates. He said measles, a highly contagious and serious disease caused by a virus, is common among children.

“Measles is not a disease of the elderly.  It’s contagious respiratory illness common in children. The number of inmates afflicted with the disease is unusual. That’s why it’s an epidemic,” he said.

CPDRC Reynaldo Valmoria said four of its inmates are still confined at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC).

But Catan said the situation is now under control and no new measles cases are reported.

Dr. Wilson Anthony Egos, the in-house physician, refused to comment on the matter.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), measles is caused by a virus in the paramyxovirus family and it is normally passed through direct contact and through the air. The virus infects the respiratory tract, then spreads throughout the body.

It can be spread from person to person through sneezing, coughing and close personal contact.

Complications include diarrhea, middle ear infection, pneumonia, encephalitis, malnutrition and blindness.

In 2017, WHO said, there were 110 000 measles deaths globally, mostly among children under the age of five.

Moreover, the inmates who did not display the symptoms of measles but have cough and colds are also being monitored. They were given general medication by the facility’s in-house medical personnel.

CPDRC houses 3,497 inmates, way beyond its ideal capacity of 1,500 inmates. (FREEMAN)

MEASLES
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