Sarangani town hit by sharp rise in measles cases

House-to-house checkup, vaccination, treatment set

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GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Philippines – The municipal health office in Alabel town, Sarangani, has launched a house-to-house visitation in nine barangay (villages) affected by the sharp rise of measles cases.

Honorato Fabio, Alabel municipal health officer, told reporters on Wednesday that health workers were dispatched to villages where measles cases have been spreading.

Children inflicted with measles queue up at the San Lazaro Hospital in Manila. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

The local health office has recorded 189 cases of measles in nine of the town’s 13 barangays.

Fabio said two children had died from the disease – one each from the remote villages of Pag-asa and Alegria – since it was first detected in the second week of April.

“We have to intensify the vaccination of children in the age bracket of five and below, as well as provide immediate treatment for those who were already hit by the disease,” Fabio said.

Most affected is Pag-asa, a hinterland village, with 110 cases recorded from May to June. Next is Domolok with 44 cases. Also affected are the villages of Alegria (16), Poblacion (9), Datal Anggas (4), Bagacay (2), Kawas (20) and Ladol and Paraiso with one each.

According to Fabio, the number of cases this year is alarming as the town only had one case of measles recorded in 2013.

Three out of nine measles-stricken villages had been declared under a state of calamity.

Local health authorities have advised parents of children aged five years old and below to immediately seek treatment if they observe symptoms like high-grade fever, heavy cough, colds, skin rashes and redness in the eyes.

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