HEALTH Undersecretary Rolando Domingo on Tuesday confirmed the measles outbreak in some areas in Negros Oriental which earlier declared an outbreak after several cases were reported.
“Recently, the Provincial Health Office of Negros Oriental declared an outbreak. And I think they’re watching seven municipalities within the province since there are reported cases of measles,” Domingo told reporters.
Domingo said 19 cases of measles have been reported in the towns of Bacung, Mabinay, San Jose, Santa Catalina, Siaton, Valencia and Dumaguete City.
He said they have deployed teams to monitor the reported cases of measles in these areas.
He added that there shoud be zero cases of measles by now but from time-to-time, small outbreaks happen in areas not reached by vaccination.
“Measles has already been eradicated before, like 10 years ago. It recurs if there is a low rate of vaccination in the community,” he said.
“Measles is only one of the vaccine-preventable diseases and is relatively benign and mortality can be very low if contained,” he added.
He also said the village health workers are going from house-to-house to convince parents to have their children vaccinated.
Negros Oriental is the fourth area this year to declare an outbreak of measles.
Earlier, the Department of Health (DoH) declared an outbreak in a lone village in Taguig after seven cases were reported there.
Last month, the DoH reported a measles outbreak in Zamboanga City, prompting the agency and the local government to launch a massive immunization program in villages.
In January, Davao declared a measles outbreak in the province with 222 people affected.
Measles is an acute and contagious disease caused by a virus and characterized by the outbreak of small red spots on the skin.
Iligan City Health Office (CHO), meanwhile, warned the public of the possible rise in the number of dengue cases while monitoring the recent deaths in two villages of two children out of the six known dengue incidents.
Health education officer Carlito Ballesta said the total number of dengue cases in Iligan as of February 24 is 59, most of them in Barangay Tubod.
The CHO advised parents to bring their children to the health office if they show symptoms of fever since “our office already has the capability to determine if a child has dengue based on the NS1 test kit we acquired,” said Ballesta.
“If the child is showing signs of weakness after the test, and fever continues, bring the child to the hospital,” advised Ballesta.
In Barangay Santa Elena, residents have expressed concern about their fresh water supply which are contained in open pails. “These pails are rarely covered and can attract mosquitos,” said Tata Villasan, a mother.
A number of residents wanted the barangay (village) unit to teach people what specific steps to take so their children can avoid getting dengue.
It was observed that there are a number of open canals in Santa Elena where mosquitos can lay their eggs and increase the risk of dengue.
The CHO exhorted parents to clean their surroundings to mitigate the dangers of getting dengue.
with TED KHAN R. JUANITE