Measles outbreak declared in Metro Manila, Central Luzon

By CNN Philippines Staff

The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday declared measles outbreak in Metro Manila and Central Luzon.

At least 861 suspected cases of measles, a highly infectious disease locally known as “tigdas,” have been reported across the National Capital Region as of February 2, DOH Undersecretary Eric Domingo told CNN Philippines. He described the number as “quite high,” but assured the public that authorities are now responding to the outbreak.

Cities with the most number of cases include Manila, Caloocan, Marikina, Pasig, Navotas, Parañaque, Taguig, Pasay and Malabon.

Meanwhile, DOH’s regional office in Central Luzon said more than 400 cases of measles have been recorded since January 1. Jesse Fantone, head of the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit, confirmed five dead from measles.

Domingo said the low coverage of measles vaccinations contributed to the rise in measles cases.

DOH earlier warned of a possible outbreak, saying 2.4 million children have not received measles vaccinations. Ruby Constantino, DOH Disease Prevention and Control Bureau Director, said many parents say they fear to have their kids immunized because of the controversial Dengvaxia mess.

On January 29, President Rodrigo Duterte himself allayed fears of vaccines and urged parents to have their children vaccinated. He said parents should not be complacent when it comes to protecting their children’s health. 

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