Highly contagious measles outbreak in the Philippines

February 7, 2019

measlesThere has been a recent surge of measles cases and deaths in Manila, Philippines, prompting authorities to declare an emergency outbreak. Compiled data marks a steep increase of cases in January 2019 as compared to the previous year, with more confirmed cases reported at the beginning of February.

Children are especially vulnerable, but people have been reluctant to have their children immunised after previous complications related to a dengue vaccine.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque has said the outbreak declaration was necessary to strengthen surveillance and to alert mothers and caregivers. He has further encouraged parents to bring their children for immunisation early as bronchopneumonia from measles complications can be deadly.

Measles is a highly contagious airborne disease, easily spread through coughs and sneezes. Symptoms include a fever, cough, runny nose and inflamed eyes, with a red rash appearing on the face and body a few days later.

The Department of Health (DOH) has since expanded the outbreak area to include other parts of the Philippines.

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