Measles cases triple; outbreak hits Davao, Zamboanga cities
The Department of Health (DOH) has reported a three-fold increase in the number of suspected measles cases nationwide during the first month of the year.
“A total of 877 [suspected] measles cases were reported nationwide from Jan. 1 to Feb. 3, 2018. This is almost triple the number of cases reported during the same period last year, with 293 cases,” according to the DOH Measles Disease Surveillance Report.
It said there were 12 deaths reported during the period.
The deaths came from Region 11 (50 percent), Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) (41.67 percent) and Region 12 (8.33 percent).
Mindanao most affected
Most of the 877 cases were from ARMM, Region 9, Region 11, Region 10 and Region 12.
The report noted that regions in Mindanao were the most affected by the disease.
“Most of the cases were from the provinces of Zamboanga del Sur, Maguindanao, Davao del Sur, Lanao del Sur and Basilan,” it said.
The DOH said that of the reported cases, 60.21 percent were still pending for testing and 6.61 percent were tested.
Among the cases tested, 68.97 percent tested positive for measles.
The age of the victims ranged from less than 1 month old to 65 years old.
Majority not vaccinated
The age groups with the most number of cases were 1-4 years old (39.79 percent), less than 9 months old (18.70 percent), and 9-11 months old (9.92 percent).
The report noted that majority of the victims were not vaccinated (62.03 percent).
Outbreaks have been declared in Davao City and Zamboanga City.
A rise in the number of cases, reaching the epidemic thresholds, prompted further investigation and led to the declaration of these outbreaks, the DOH said.
Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo earlier said that one of the factors for the outbreak was the low immunization coverage, following a public health scare triggered by the controversial dengue immunization program which had been scrapped.
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