GOVERNMENT CENTER,PALO, Leyte- The Department of Health in Region 8 (DOH-8) has urged parents and the general public to have their children vaccinated against measles as cases in the region continue to increase.
During the press conference on Monday (Feb. 11), DOH-8 reported 268 cases of measles in the region with 11 deaths from January to February 9 this year.
With the measles outbreak in the region, DOH-8 Regional Director Minerva P. Molon advised parents to bring their children, at the onset of fever, to the nearest health center for treatment and proper case management.
Molon informed that children aged six months to 59 months old are eligible for measles vaccination which is available at the DOH health facilities for free.
As an ongoing response to the outbreak, Molon said they have already scheduled vaccination and assured also of enough measles vaccines. She, however, stressed that they were already conducting immunization activities as early as November last year before Secretary Francisco Duque declared the measles outbreak in the region.
“We will give focus first in areas with high number of cases as well as in areas with reported death,” Director Molon said adding that they are already in constant communication with the provincial and municipal health officers especially in areas with reported cases.
Roderick Boyd Cerro, chief of the regional epidemiology and surveillance unit, said majority of the measles cases was noted in the province of Leyte with 197 (73.5 percent) and the areas with high number of cases are as follows: Tacloban City (64), Palo (20), Burauen (19), Dagami (14), and Ormoc City (8).
Molon said they will be conducting a more intensive immunization activity in coordination with the local health offices.
The regional health department has already issued guidelines to the local government units which will guide them in properly handling measles cases.
The DOH is also asking the schools to help them advocate to their pupils and students about the school-based immunization.
Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus and can be transferred from person-to-person by sneezing, coughing and close personal contact. Its signs and symptoms include cough, runny nose, red eyes, fever, and skin rashes lasting for more than three days.
Complications include diarrhea, middle ear infection, pneumonia, swelling of the brain, malnutrition, and blindness which may eventually lead to death. (LDLopido/PIA-8 Leyte)