DOH buying more measles vaccine amid rising number of cases

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 05 2019 04:53 PM | Updated as of Feb 05 2019 07:33 PM

MANILA- (UPDATE) There is enough supply of measles vaccine, the Department of Health assured Filipinos Tuesday amid the increasing number of cases of the infectious disease.

Health Undersecretary Erik Domingo said rumors that the supply of measles vaccine have ran out are "not true."

"Yes [there is enough supply] and we're procuring more," he told ABS-CBN News.

At the San Lazaro Hospital in Manila alone, a known facility for infectious diseases, a total of 248 children and 21 adults were being treated for measles as of Tuesday morning.

Hospital spokesperson Dr. Ferdinand de Guzman said on Monday night alone, 7 deaths were recorded, of which 3 are due to complications due to measles.

"For San Lazaro alone, we have seen a very huge jump for the number of measles cases," De Guzman said.

"Most of these patients that were admitted did not have any immunization... It's alarming," he added.

The World Health Organization has advised Filipino parents to have their children vaccinated against measles, as the number of cases of the disease increased by an alarming 367 percent.

The WHO said there are 17,298 reported measles cases in the Philippines from January to November 2018 alone, a huge leap from the 3,706 reported measles cases for the same period in 2017.

Measles, "caused by a virus in the paramyxovirus family," can be passed through direct contact and through the air, and infects the respiratory tract.

Unvaccinated young children are at highest risk of the disease and its complications which include severe diarrhea, pneumonia, blindness, and even death.