The DOH has confirmed a measles outbreak in Negros Oriental, with nine confirmed cases and 12 other suspected cases.
Measles outbreak in Negros Oriental
According to Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo, the measles outbreak was declared by the provincial government, and that they are now monitoring seven towns.
These towns include Bacong, Dumaguete City, Mabinay, San Jose, Santa Catalina, Siaton and Valencia.
Thankfully, there have been no measles-related deaths in those areas, according to the Negros Oriental Integrated Provincial Health Office.
Only one case of measles is enough to declare an outbreak
According to Health Assistant Secretary Eric Tayag, only one case of measles is needed to declare an outbreak, since the Philippines is already in the “elimination phase” of measles. A measles outbreak in the elimination phase means that there are a low number of reported measles cases.
However, it’s still important to make sure that people get vaccinated against measles, and that any reports or cases be monitored since measles can quickly spread, especially in densely populated areas.
Last week, a measles outbreak was declared in Taguig, and the month before that an outbreak was declared in Davao.
What is measles and how does it spread?
Measles is a highly contagious, and potentially fatal disease that’s caused by a virus. It remains one of the leading causes of deaths among young people globally, even with the availability of an effective vaccine.
Measles spreads through direct airborne contact, which makes it highly contagious. This is why it’s important for everyone to get vaccinated against measles, since vaccination can prevent measles from spreading further.
In case you think that you or your child has measles, here are the symptoms that you need to look out for:
- High fever that lasts four to seven days
- Runny nose, cough, and red, watery eyes
- Rashes on the face and upper neck, which spreads to the hand and feet
Children under the age of five and adults above 30 are most at risk for measles. Other symptoms can include encephalitis or swelling in the brain, blindness, severe diarrhea, dehydration, respiratory problems, pneumonia.
Unvaccinated children and adults are the ones who are most at risk for measles, so it’s always a good idea to make sure that everyone in your family has been vaccinated against measles. The vaccine is 100% safe, and very effective in building up the person’s immune system.
The important thing to know is that the vaccine is not a cure for measles. This means that if you suspect your child has measles, the best thing to do would be to take them to a doctor or to the hospital. Vaccination won’t do anything for those who are already infected with the virus.
Source: ABS-CBN News
READ: Measles outbreak in Taguig confirmed by DOH