‘Code white’ alert up in Central Visayas with rise in measles cases
CEBU CITY — The Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) has declared a “code white” alert in Region 7 after measles cases went up to 145 with two deaths this year.
Dr. Shelbay Blanco, head of the Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (RESU), said code white meant that all hospitals in Cebu, Bohol, Negros Oriental and Siquijor would be required to set up emergency response team, “quick or priority lanes” and isolation rooms for patients suspected to be afflicted with measles.
Even the rural health and municipal health units had been on “code white” status since Feb. 11.
Blanco said they had to declare code white since measles cases had shot up from 96 cases and one death on Feb. 2 to 145 with 2 deaths on Feb. 11 or a span of just about a week.
The latest fatality was a two-year-old boy from San Francisco town on Camotes Island in Cebu. He died while confined at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) in Cebu City last week.
The RESU recorded only 10 cases with no death in the same period last year.
Most of the measles cases were from Cebu City with 50 followed by Lapu-Lapu City with 10 cases and Mandaue City with eight.
The towns of Guihulngan and Manjuyod in Negros Oriental had seven cases each.
Cebu province had 101 cases of measles while Negros Oriental had 37, and seven in Bohol.
Blanco said they were setting up “vaccination stations” in various areas in Central Visayas to curb the rising cases of measles.
A tent was also put up on the ground of the DOH-7 office for children and adults qualified for vaccination.
At the VSMMC, the biggest regional government hospital in Central Visayas, separate isolation rooms for adults and minors with measles had been prepared.
Dr. Joy Villanueva, VSMMC head of the Disaster Risk Reduction in Health Management, said the hospital also had a fast lane where patients would no longer have to undergo the usual admission procedures.
The patient would be admitted and isolated immediately, she said.
As of Tuesday morning, one infant was admitted at the isolation room at the VSMMC. /lzb
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