GOVERNMENT CENTER,PALO, Leyte — The regional office of the Department of Health (DOH) is monitoring measles cases in San Roque, Northern Samar amid reports that a child died from the said ailment.
Roderick Boyd Cerro, chief of the DOH regional epidemiology and surveillance unit, said that they are still waiting for the confirmation of blood tests from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Muntinlupa City to find out if the one-year-old child really contracted measles.
Two other family members, aged 10 and 14, also suffered from measles symptoms such as mild to moderate fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes, rashes, and sore throat last week.
“Clinically, it shows that the child died of measles last week, but we are still waiting for the confirmation from the RITM,” Cerro said.
If RITM confirms that the cause of death is measles, the DOH will consider the case in San Roque town as an outbreak, according to Cerro.
“We will categorize it as an outbreak because we already had immunization activities with the goal to achieve zero deaths from measles,” Cerro said.
Children should receive at least two measles immunization shots to boost their immune system against the viral disease.
The government has been implementing the massive immunization program targeting children ages six months to five years old.
Many parents, however, refused government vaccines due to fears caused by Dengvaxia controversy last year.
The DOH has reiterated its call to support the government’s immunization program this year that will benefit 213,717 children in the region.
The health department has been conducting its regular mass vaccination to combat polio, measles, tetanus, meningitis, diphtheria, and tuberculosis.
The immunization program targets 129,370 children 0 to 12 years old and 84,347 Grades 1 to 7 school children in the region.
The DOH pushed for vaccination noting that in the past two years, there are still confirmed cases of fatal diseases preventable by vaccines. (ROEL T. AMAZONA)