6 more areas found to have measles outbreak - DOH


Posted at Feb 22 2010 11:23 PM | Updated as of Feb 23 2010 07:23 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Health (DOH) has tagged new areas in the country where small outbreaks of measles have occurred prompting the government agency to intensify vaccination measures.

The 6 new areas where small outbreaks of measles have been recorded are in the following cities and provinces:

1 Tarlac City
2. Antipolo, Rizal province
3. Masbate province
4. Lambunao, Iloilo province
5. Alabang in Muntinlupa City
6. Parañaque City

The areas are in addition to the 5 areas already announced last week. These are:

1. Baseco area in Tondo district in Manila
2. Central Market in Dasmarinas, Cavite
3. Pulang Lupa, Las Piñas City
4. San Francisco, Quezon province
5. Balabagan, Lanao Del Sur province

The figures have alarmed health officials.

“Nakakaalarma ito kaya di dapat ipagwalang bahala ng mga magulang. Dapat pabakunahan ang kanilang mga anak para ligtas sila sa sakit na ito," said Dr. Eric Tayag, National Epidemiology Center chief.

The health department reminded parents that measles vaccination can be obtained from public health centers for free. They said parents should have their children avail themselves of the free vaccination program.

Health officials have started inspecting health centers in areas where outbreaks have been reported to ensure the supply of vaccines.

Health officials also appealed to local government officials to provide information in their areas.

A public health center in Barangay South Triangle in Quezon City reported that 100 persons have availed themselves of the vaccine against measles. In a health center in Kamuning also in Quezon City, vaccines were found ready by the ABS-CBN News team.

The DOH also said that they will coordinate with the Department of Education on a “fever watch.” Pupils and students who have fever or who may be showing symptoms of measles will immediately be sent home so others would not get infected.

Symptoms that a person may be infected include fever, general weakness and sometimes red eyes. These symptoms are usually observed before the characteristic skin rash which confirms the onset of measles. With a report from Sol Aragones, ABS-CBN News