Measles outbreak kills 21 in Sarangani
GEN. SANTOS CITY – At least 21 children belonging to the Blaan tribe have died due to measles that hit upland communities in Sarangani the past three weeks, local and health officials said.
More than 20 others were hospitalized in Malapatan town and in Gen. Santos City, according to Dr. Diomedes Remitar, town health officer Tuesday.
In a radio interview, Remitar said health workers suspect it was due to a measles outbreak that hit upland communities of Kyogam, Mahayag, Lino, Datal Nai and Alna, all of Barangay Upper Suyan, Malapaan.
Citing reports from barangay health workers, Remitar said among the fatalities were infants and children below 10 years old.
Remitar said the children experienced a severe headache, fever and skin rashes.
Boyet Ogan, village chair of Upper Suyan, who helped rush the patients in Gen. Santos City, said Tuesday that 21 children have died and more than 100 have been infected with measles.
He told reporters the first case of measles was reported during the first week of November.
Due to distance and lack of transportation, the child was not brought to the hospital for treatment.
The local government of Malapatan had already extended financial assistance to Blaan people who lost loved ones.
Remitar said vaccination has been ongoing since Monday in the affected communities. As of today, about 550 children have been immunized.
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