Measles cases flood Manila hospital; 7 recent deaths reported

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 05 2019 07:01 PM | Updated as of Feb 05 2019 07:26 PM

MANILA- Measles cases have been pouring in at a hospital in Manila with most patients lacking vaccination for the infectious disease.

At least 248 children and 21 adults are being treated for measles in the San Lazaro Hospital, a known facility for infectious diseases.

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.

Last week, 9 children died within a day due to measles, De Guzman added.

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De Guzman expressed concerns over the "alarming" number of measles cases, noting that patients now have to share beds for the hospital to accommodate all of them.

"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.

In January alone, De Guzman said over a thousand cases of measles were recorded in the San Lazaro hospital and doctors are expecting the number to go up further.

"We expect to see more and more cases," she said.

Despite the high number of patients, De Guzman clarified that the hospital is still taking in more patients with measles.

"San Lazaro still accepts measles cases...we cannot turn down every Filipino who asks help from us," she said.

She, however, clarified that patients with other illnesses are advised to visit other hospitals.

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.

The Department of Health on Tuesday assured Filipinos that there is enough supply of vaccine for the disease.

"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.