Published On: Wed, Mar 19th, 2014

Philippines reports thousands of measles cases in first 45 days of 2014

Measles in the Philippines has been a topic in several countries (Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States ) as travelers returning from travel to the Philippines have been a source of the viral disease when they returned.

Measles rash Image/CDC

Measles rash

However, the burden of measles, particularly in the National Capital Region of Manila and other areas of the island of Luzon, is quite staggering.

According to a Philippines Department of Health National Epidemiology Center Public Health Surveillance and Informatics Division (NEC) report for week 7, there has been 3,434 confirmed measles cases on the the archipelago from January 1 to February 15. This includes 23 fatalities.

In addition, the NEC reports note that during this 45 day span there was also 15,683 suspected cases.

The World Health Organization and the Philippines Department of Health are working to control the outbreak, including conducting vaccination campaigns.

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.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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