The Department of Health (DOH) in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) is set to declare a measles outbreak in the region, an official said Wednesday.
Based on government statistics, 14 cases of measles with 6 deaths were recorded in the region from late 2017 to present.
The measles cases were all confirmed by serology.
Six cases were recorded in Lanao del Sur, while 8 were recorded in Sulu and Maguindanao.
“Based on the criteria ng WHO (World Health Organization), isang confirmed case by serology is already considered [an] outbreak dahil mayroon tayong measles elimination for the past years," DOH-ARMM Secretary Dr. Kadil Sinolinding Jr. said.
For the past years, the data for fully immunized children in ARMM only reached 70%.
The health official said this was due to a logistics problem and vaccine availability.
“Now, we already initiated mass immunization doon sa mga affected barangays and municipalities and with that, we can be assured na mako-control pa rin natin, but kung hindi kumpleto 'yung immunization ng ating mga anak, may magpositibo pa rin,” Sinolinding said.
DOH-ARMM said it would focus on the prevention of measles cases upon the declaration of the outbreak.
Measles is an infectious disease that can cause death among infants as young as 3 months, Sinolinding said.
Last month, Davao City declared a measles outbreak after recording 224 suspected measles cases and 4 deaths.