Measles outbreak declared in Philippines

Measles outbreak declared in Philippines

Measles outbreak declared in Philippines

The number of measles cases reported in the region have risen dramatically from 2017-in 2018, the DOH EB recorded 3,646 measles cases in the region against the 351 cases in 2017.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles disagreed, saying he did not believe compulsory immunization was needed.

A measles epidemic that broke out in Metro Manila has now spread to other parts of the country, the Philippines Department of Health (DOH) has announced.

Most of the dead are children and the toll is expected to rise as more cases are confirmed of the highly contagious disease, which has made a worldwide resurgence in recent years.

The Calabarzon region to the south of Manila has seen a jump of 2,538 percent, with 575 reported cases so far in 2019 - compared with 21 in 2018.

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"We are declaring an outbreak as cases have increased in the past weeks and to strengthen surveillance of new cases and alert mothers and caregivers to be more vigilant", Mr Duque said in a statement.

"I think it might be questioned before the courts somehow", he said.

The DOH Epidemiology Bureau (DOH EB) has reported almost 200 confirmed cases through January 19 in the region.

The Quezon City Health Department has mobilized its corps of community health workers to actively look for fever cases among children to ensure that they will be accorded with the appropriate medical services in the city's health centers to avoid serious implications. Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra also came to the defense of Acosta, saying she was just doing her job helping the families of children who died supposedly after being inoculated with the controversial anti-dengue vaccine, Dengvaxia.

There have been 1,813 measles cases and 26 deaths in Philippines as of January 26, according to the Department of Health Epidemiology Bureau.

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The sharp increase in measles cases and deaths prompted senators to call on the public to get children vaccinated.

Amid the outbreak, the House of Representatives also on Friday approved on second reading an act expanding the coverage of the mandatory basic immunization program and providing a system in the determination of other types of vaccine-preventable diseases, amending Republic Act (RA) 10152 or the "Mandatory Infants and Children Health Immunization Act of 2011".

Convocar said they also prioritize the implementation of "measles fast lanes".

In late 2017, French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi, which licensed Dengvaxia, disclosed that the vaccine, in rare cases, could indeed backfire: If children who never had dengue are vaccinated and later become infected, the vaccine may provoke a much more severe form of the illness.

The DOH said there was "low vaccine coverage because of the Dengvaxia scare".

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