DOH sees possible reversal of measles outbreak by April
MANILA, Philippines — The reversal of the measles outbreak in the Philippines may happen by the first week of April if immunity could be raised to 95 percent, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said Thursday.
“We pray and hope that there really is an end to this but we are looking at bringing up herd immunity to 95 percent,” Duque told the reporters after the press briefing about the Universal Health Care Law in Manila.
“As soon as we are able get anywhere near that collective protection or immunity, we are looking at about first week of April a reversal of the outbreak trend,” he added.
Duque bared that there are 11,459 measles cases nationwide as of February 20 this year, much higher than the 2,673 measles cases recorded over the same period last year.
Duque added that 189 casualties have so far been reported this year.
Meanwhile, the Department of Health is recommending the declaration of a measles outbreak on the municipal level in Cagayan Valley. Duque noted.
“Region II is recommending declaration of outbreak but only in municipal level not at the provincial or regional levels,” he said.
Duque explained that the outbreak was recommended on municipal level because not all provinces in the region have reported cases of measles.
Measles is considered a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus that can spread through sneezing, coughing and close personal contact. / gsg
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