Measles cases up 600% in Metro Manila
Department of Health National- Capital Region (DOH-NCR) issued a warning to the public today concerning the dramatic increases of measles in the Metro Manila area, according to the Philippine Information Agency.
Director Eduardo C. Janairo said that there is a rise of 612 percent as compared to last year and pinpointed the cities of Las Piñas (44 cases), Muntinlupa (32), Caloocan (26), Manila (22)and Paranaque (15) with high incidence of measles.
“Everyone should take necessary precaution because measles is a severe disease that causes complications like ear infections, pneumonia and even inflammation of the brain,” Dir. Janairo stated.
The Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit for the NCR reported a total of 179 confirmed measles cases in Metro Manila from January 1 to December 10, 2013. This compares to the 25 cases reported during the same time frame in 2012, or a more than 600 percent increase.
Measles or rubeola, is an acute highly communicable viral disease that is characterized by Koplik spots in the cheek or tongue very early in the disease. A couple of days later a red blotchy rash appears first on the face, and then spreads, lasting 4-7 days. Other symptoms include fever, cough and red watery eyes. The patient may be contagious from four days prior to the rash appearance to four days after rash appearance.
The disease is more severe in infants and adults. Complications from measles which is reported in up to 20% of people infected include; seizures, pneumonia, deafness and encephalitis.
Everyone is also advised to be updated on measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine and all other age-appropriate immunizations. Parents and caregivers of children aged 0-12 years old are urged to go to the nearest health center and have their children immunized against measles,” Janairo appealed.
“Measles vaccination not only protects the person but also serves as safeguard to family members who are too young to get the vaccine or haven’t received it yet. Receiving two doses of measles vaccine is highly effective in preventing measles,” recommends Janairo.
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