DOH: MEASLES OUTBREAK IN METRO MANILA

The Department of Health (DOH) has declared an outbreak of potentially deadly measles in several districts in at least nine cities in Metro Manila. The outbreak was declared over the weekend in Quiapo, Sampaloc, Tondo, Binondo, Sta. Cruz, Port Area and Sta. Mesa in Manila; Dagat-Dagatan and Bagong Barrio in Caloocan City; Talon 5, Talon 2, and Pamplona Uno in Las Piñas; and Longos and Tonsuya in Malabon. Outbreaks were also detected in Alabang and Putatan in Muntinlupa; North Bay Boulevard South in Navotas; Moonwalk and Don Bosco in Parañaque; Bagong Tanyag in Taguig, and Ugong in Valenzuela. Records of the DOH’s National Epidemiology Center (NEC) show that from Jan. 1 to Dec. 14, 2013, there were 1,724 measles cases, including 21 deaths. A majority of the cases were in Metro Manila. The DOH is embarking on a massive measles vaccination drive in Metro Manila to stop the outbreak.

ALSO: San Lazaro Hospital fills up with measles cases as outbreak continues

Of the 500 beds at San Lazaro Hospital in Manila, 261 are filled with measles patients, with patients in one ward having to share beds as the city deals with an outbreak that began in October 2013. In an interview, Dr. Jose Benito Villarama said the influx of measles patients started last October and rose steadily from November. By December 14, the Department of Health had tallied 1,724 measles cases across the country, 21 of which led to death. “The increase in the number of measles patients has forced us to convert sections of San Lazaro Hospital into measles ward,” Villarama said. At least 75 have died of the disease in 2013, according to a report on "24 Oras" aired Friday evening that quoted Villarama. "Usually, ito ay mga complicated na measles with pneumonia," he said. As he led reporters on a tour of the hospital’s Pavilion 4, which houses 96 measles patients, Villarama disclosed two measles patients now occupy one hospital bed.

ALSO: Concern over rising cases of measles in Philippines

After nearly a decade of decline, measles is on the march again worldwide, health authorities have reported. In the Philippines, a rise in measles cases has raised concerns that an epidemic could develop. In Metro Manila alone, the Department of Health (DOH) has reported 1,724 cases at San Lazaro Hospital from 2013 to January 2, 2014 resulting in 75 deaths. Of the 500 beds in San Lazaro, 261 are occupied by measles patients. The new surge has prompted neophyte Sen. Nancy Binay to ask what went wrong with the government’s immunisation programme called “Ligtas Tigdas.” In a statement yesterday, Binay asked: “What happened to the P2bn allotted for the expanded immunisation programme. This year it is budgeted at P2.85bn.”


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DOH: Measles outbreak in MM


A mother carries her baby who received medical attention for measles at the San Lazaro Medical Hospital the other day. Parents have been rushing their children to various hospitals in Metro Manila, where most of the measles cases have been recorded. EDD GUMBAN

MANILA, JANUARY 6
, 2014
(PHILSTAR) By Mayen Jaymalin -  The Department of Health (DOH) has declared an outbreak of potentially deadly measles in several districts in at least nine cities in Metro Manila.

The outbreak was declared over the weekend in Quiapo, Sampaloc, Tondo, Binondo, Sta. Cruz, Port Area and Sta. Mesa in Manila; Dagat-Dagatan and Bagong Barrio in Caloocan City; Talon 5, Talon 2, and Pamplona Uno in Las Piñas; and Longos and Tonsuya in Malabon.

Outbreaks were also detected in Alabang and Putatan in Muntinlupa; North Bay Boulevard South in Navotas; Moonwalk and Don Bosco in Parañaque; Bagong Tanyag in Taguig, and Ugong in Valenzuela.

Records of the DOH’s National Epidemiology Center (NEC) show that from Jan. 1 to Dec. 14, 2013, there were 1,724 measles cases, including 21 deaths. A majority of the cases were in Metro Manila.

The DOH is embarking on a massive measles vaccination drive in Metro Manila to stop the outbreak.

Health Assistant Secretary Eric Tayag said the DOH would meet today with local government health officials and civil society groups in Metro Manila to plan an intensified measles vaccination in the metropolis.

Tayag noted that a single measles case can infect up to 18 other individuals compared to only five for human immunodeficiency virus and three for flu.

“A person who enters a room where a person with measles has just left, can still get measles as the virus can live up to two hours outside the host body,” Tayag said.

“Most children with measles easily recover, but the illness can kill because of pneumonia, acute diarrhea with severe dehydration or acute encephalitis,” he added.

Since measles is a highly contagious disease, Tayag stressed that vaccination must be done swiftly.

Health officials said there is a need for a door-to-door vaccination drive to protect the public against measles, especially children, pregnant mothers and immuno-compromised individuals.

The DOH intends to vaccinate as many children as possible to ensure the country remains on track in eliminating measles by 2017.

“Measles elimination can be achieved if measles vaccine coverage is at least 95 percent in every district,” Tayag said.

FROM GMA NEWS TV

San Lazaro Hospital fills up with measles cases as outbreak continues January 3, 2014 7:07pm

Of the 500 beds at San Lazaro Hospital in Manila, 261 are filled with measles patients, with patients in one ward having to share beds as the city deals with an outbreak that began in October 2013.

In an interview, Dr. Jose Benito Villarama said the influx of measles patients started last October and rose steadily from November. By December 14, the Department of Health had tallied 1,724 measles cases across the country, 21 of which led to death.

“The increase in the number of measles patients has forced us to convert sections of San Lazaro Hospital into measles ward,” Villarama said.

At least 75 have died of the disease in 2013, according to a report on "24 Oras" aired Friday evening that quoted Villarama. "Usually, ito ay mga complicated na measles with pneumonia," he said.

As he led reporters on a tour of the hospital’s Pavilion 4, which houses 96 measles patients, Villarama disclosed two measles patients now occupy one hospital bed.

Three pavilions in the hospital were converted to measles wards, the report said.

Villarama said as soon as a measles patient shows signs of dehydration or difficulty in breathing, the patient must be rushed to the nearest hospital for medical attention.

The "24 Oras" report showed most of the patients were babies and children. One of the patient was three months old, puzzling even Health Assistant Secretary Enrique Tayag who said the common age for measles patients is six months.

Outside, dozens more wait for their turn to be admitted to the hospital full of patients, the report said.

In a separate press conference, Tayag said the National Capital Region reported the highest number of measles cases, registering 744 out of the 1,724 cases. In 2012, the DOH listed 1,536 measles cases.

Southern Luzon with 436 cases and Western Visayas with 282 complete the top three regions hardest hit by measles, Tayag said. Of the country’s 17 regions, only Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Northern Mindanao, and Caraga regions had no reports of increased measles cases.

Tayag urged local government units and health centers nationwide to administer vaccines against measles daily, if possible.

"You cannot escape measles... Lagnat pa lang, pwede nang makahawa ang isang bata, hindi pa lumalabas 'yung pantal," he said.

Tayag added one may have measles without prior vaccination or exposure to the virus. He said the ideal age for children to be vaccinated is from nine months to one year old and from 15 months to 18 months old.

The US Department of Health and Human Services says a second dose of the vaccine must be given when a child is 4 to 6 years old.

The symptoms of measles are redness of the eyes, coughs and colds, fever reaching 40 degrees Celsius, and rashes on the ears, face, neck, and the whole body. Tayag said the patient may also have difficulty in breathing.

The outbreak of the measles virus is recorded in the following areas:

Caloocan - Dagat-dagatan, Bagong Barrio
Las Piñas - Talon Singko, Talon Dos
Manila - Quiapo, Sampaloc, Tondo, Santa Cruz, Port Area, Santa Mesa, Binondo
Muntinlupa - Alabang
Parañaque

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease transmitted through droplets from the nose, mouth or throat of infected persons, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.

The WHO said there is no specific treatment for measles and recovery may take two to three weeks. But complications of measles in malnourished children may result in blindness, diarrhea, pneumonia, encephalitis and ear infection. — Marc Jayson Cayabyab/JDS, GMA News

FROM GULF TIMES NEWS

Concern over rising cases of measles in Philippines 4 January
2014 By Rose De La Cruz/Manila Times


Parents wait to vaccinate their children against measles at San Lazaro Hospital yesterday.

After nearly a decade of decline, measles is on the march again worldwide, health authorities have reported.
In the Philippines, a rise in measles cases has raised concerns that an epidemic could develop.

In Metro Manila alone, the Department of Health (DOH) has reported 1,724 cases at San Lazaro Hospital from 2013 to January 2, 2014 resulting in 75 deaths.

Of the 500 beds in San Lazaro, 261 are occupied by measles patients.

The new surge has prompted neophyte Sen. Nancy Binay to ask what went wrong with the government’s immunisation programme called “Ligtas Tigdas.”

In a statement yesterday, Binay asked: “What happened to the P2bn allotted for the expanded immunisation programme. This year it is budgeted at P2.85bn.”

She posed more questions: “What happened to the vaccines the government bought in the last 15 years? Were they used or did they just allow them to expire. How many children benefited from the programme? Why (was there) no follow up?”

Binay will file a resolution next week calling for a full review of the government’s immunisation programmes, which she noted failed to achieve a “zero” measles record in 2008, or 10 years after the Philippine government committed itself in 1998 to undertake mass measles vaccination targeting children in the nine months to 15-years-old age-group.

The “Ligtas Tigdas” campaign is a joint undertaking between the DOH, the local government units, the Department of Education, the Department of Interior and Local Government.

The DOH NCR’s Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit recorded 233 confirmed measles cases from January 1 to December 14, more than 600% higher than during the same period last year.

“Ligtas Tigdas” aimed for a “zero” measles target by 2008. Children between six and 48 months old were supposed to get free shots in two doses. Booster shots are administered to those who have previously received immunisation.

Caused by a virus, measles is extremely contagious, and is spread through coughing, sneezing, breathing and infecting anyone who has not been vaccinated or had the disease before. Measles is characterised by a rash that spreads quickly to cover most parts of the face and the whole body, including the lower extremities.

The DOH National Capital Region (NCR) last week urged residents to take precaution after measles cases went up in some parts of the metropolis this year.

From only 25 cases recorded in 2012, 179 were recorded this year as of December 10, DOH-NCR Director Eduardo Janairo said.

The ages of those afflicted ranged from one month to 37 years.

Most of them, Janairo said, were in the one to four-year age-group, with majority of them males.

DOH data showed that only four of the country’s 17 regions — Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Northern Mindanao and CARAGA — did not report an increase in the number of measles cases.

In 2013, Metro Manila had the biggest number of cases with 744, followed by Southern Luzon with 436 and Western Visayas, 282.

Outbreaks were noted in Dagat Dagatan and Bagong Barrio in Caloocan City; Talong Singko, Talon Dos and Pamplona 1, Longos and Tonsuya in Malabon; Quiapo, Sampaloc, Tondo, Sta. Cruz, Binondo, Sta. Mesa and Port Area in Manila; Alabang and Putatan in Muntinlupa; North Bay Boulevard South in Navotas; Moonwalk and Don Bosco in Paranaque; Bagong Tanyag in Taguig and Ugong in Valenzuela.

DOH Assistant Secretary Dr Enrique Tayag said the department held free mass vaccination against measles during the school break.

“Around 11.7mn children below five years old will be vaccinated, regardless of their immunisation history. Teams will be deployed to do house-to-house vaccination,” Tayag said.

“If you believe you are exposed to someone with measles, you should observe for measles symptoms to appear after nine days,” Janairo warned. “Some persons can be affected immediately before the rash appears four days after being exposed.”
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Janairo said it usually begins with common cold symptoms like high fever, cough, runny nose, sore red eyes that can last for several days before the appearance of a red, blotchy rash.

Everyone, especially children up to 12 years old, should have measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) shots and all other age-appropriate immunisations.

The DOH urged the public to report suspected measles cases to a healthcare provider before going to a hospital as a suspected measles case must first be evaluated as a precaution and protection to other patients and health workers from possible infection. Those with measles symptoms should refrain from going out to avoid putting others at risk.

In 2010, measles outbreaks in parts of Europe and Africa infected some 60,000 more people worldwide than the previous year, after nearly a decade of decline, US health authorities said on Thursday.

A boost in global efforts to vaccinate people against measles brought the cases down from more than 853,000 in 2000 to nearly 278,000 in 2008.

The figure remained stable in 2009.

But 2010 saw an increase to 339,845 measles cases, driven largely by outbreaks in Africa and Europe, said the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly report.

The rise came despite increasing global vaccine coverage of at least one dose against measles to 85% of the world in 2010, up from 72% in 2000.

Vietnam had 9,391 cases and the Philippines reported 6,368.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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