DUMAGUETE CITY, Negros Oriental (UPDATE) - The head of the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) here wants to declare a measles outbreak in all of the province.
Dr. Liland Estacion conducted three days of fieldwork after the Department of Health (DOH) declared an outbreak in seven areas in the province.
Estacion said she found 4 more confirmed measles cases in Dumaguete City, while another is being monitored in the town of San Jose. Measles cases are now reported in 8 areas.
"It is very unlikely and sporadic," said Estacion. "As of now, we are still tracking back and tracing where this came from."
Negros Occidental provincial health offficer Dr. Ernell Tumimbang, meanwhile, said 3 more suspected cases of measles are being closely monitored in Kabankalan City.
The IPHO is hoping to submit its recommendation to the regional office by next week.
Estacion added that the health office has acquired additional medicine from the regional office for distribution to different rural health units. Most of these are antibiotics and medicine for dehydration.
"Measles will progress into pneumonia if not detected early," Estacion said.
Meanwhile, barangay health centers in the province are now working on a masterlist of all children below 5 years old. Those yet to be immunized for measles will be given shots in their homes.
Estacion added that children below 5 are given two doses of the measles vaccine: one from 6 to 8 months old and a booster shot from 9 months to 5 years old.
Measles is an infectious disease that can cause death among infants as young as 3 months old. Colder temperatures typically cause a spike in cases of the illness, symptoms of which include skin rashes and fever, authorities have said.
The DOH last week also confirmed a measles outbreak in a Taguig City village and in Davao City last month.
-- with a report from Mitch Miranda Lipa, ABS-CBN News