Cases of measles in the country are up by 3,600%!
The alarming and sudden increase in the number of measles cases during 2018 have been attributed to fear of vaccinations caused by the Dengvaxia scare.
Dr. Willie Ong, a public health educator, shared that the number of measles cases in the Philippines are 36 times higher than those of last year. This translates to a spike of 3,600%, which is a dramatic increase over the span of a year.
Dr. Willie shared that this can be attributed to the recent controversy surrounding the Dengvaxia vaccine. The fear of Dengvaxia caused other Filipinos to be wary of tried and tested vaccines. This can potentially cause an outbreak in the country if the government doesn't do anything about it.
Measles can be potentially deadly
For children and babies afflicted with the condition, encephalitis and swelling of the brain can lead to death. Dr. Willie added that even if a child survives, they can potentially suffer permanent disabilities such as blindness or deafness.
Ideally, preventing an outbreak of measles is relatively straightforward, as the vaccine is about 93% effective in stopping the disease. This means that the simple task of vaccination can prevent an outbreak.
The disease can easily spread through sneezing and coughing, putting entire communities at risk.
The measles vaccine is safe
An important thing for parents to remember is that the MMR vaccine is completely safe, and is very effective in preventing any infections and outbreaks. Two doses of the MMR vaccine is essential in preventing measles. When the child is 12-14 months, the first vaccine should be given, and the second when the child is about 4-5 years old.
The MMR vaccine also has no known complications, so parents have nothing to worry about. There are MMR vaccines that are available from local health centers, and there are MMR vaccination programs that the government provides.
It's always best to get your child vaccinated as soon as possible. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure.