BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya: Department of Health (DOH) officials have declared a measles outbreak in the province as a result of more than 30 cases one of which has ended in death.
Officials said measles cases have been monitored in the province since November which prompted them to declare an outbreak throughout the province.
Dr. Edwin Galapon, provincial health officer, on Saturday issued a confirmation of the rising measles cases particularly in the towns of Aritao, Kasibu, Dupax Del Norte and Bambang.
Galapon said the lone fatality was identified as a one-year-old boy from Bambang town’s mountain village of Salicpan: he died due to the virus in November while being treated at the Nueva Vizcaya Provincial Hospital in Bambang.
The provincial health office said the outbreak started in November when at least five of the 31 suspected measles cases were confirmed to have been afflicted with the virus.
The DOH for Region 2 said that an outbreak can be declared if the number of cases in an area surpassed the previous year’s number of cases.
Allan Sibal, regional DOH information officer, said that Nueva Vizcaya has less measles patients in the last quarter of 2012 as compared with the seven confirmed cases of measles during the same period in 2013.
“This has prompted the health department to declare the outbreak since November in the province,” said Sibal adding that the DOH-Center for Health Development for Region 2 is now investigating the outbreak as to its cause or origin.
“We need to study further the cases of the measles patients to determine if the virus really originated in Nueva Vizcaya considering it lies within the boundaries of the Cordillera and Central Luzon regions,” he said.
Sibal said there is an ongoing validation if the patients were vaccinated with anti-measles citing communities which disregard such services.
“Parents are not cooperating during massive vaccination,” he said.
In Cagayan Valley, at least 168 suspected measles cases have been reported. Seven of the 13 con–firmed cases were recorded in Nueva Vizcaya, two cases each in Isabela and Ilagan City and one each in Santiago City and Cagayan.
The were no reported measles cases in the provinces of Batanes and Quirino as well as Tuguegarao City.