Measles outbreak declared in Davao City

DAVAO CITY, Philippines (UPDATED) – The local government here declared a measles outbreak as more than 200 people showed signs they were suffering from the highly-contagious infection.

Josephine Villafuerte, the city’s chief health officer, said Monday, January 22, that at least 222 people here, not all residents of Davao City, had measles, an infection locally known as tigdas.

In pamphlets released by the Department of Health (DOH), tidas is described as a virus that thrives well in the country due to climate change, and that it infects best when temperature levels are low.

Symptoms of measles infection include a total-body skin rash, according to the DOH. (FAST FACTS: What is measles, and how can it be prevented?)

According to Villafuerte, the figures were a total of people infected between November 2017 up to January of 2018.

The declaration of a measles outbreak had to be done, said Villafuerte, to raise the importance of performing imunization operations across the city.

“We wanted to avoid the spread of the virus,” she said.

Also, it aims to strengthen its efforts to vaccinate children amid a growing reluctance brought by the Dengvaxia scare.

DOH XI regional director Abdulla Dumama earlier had to assure the public here that Dengvaxia did not reach the city.

The CHO said it is administering immunization and booster of measles vaccine for children between 6 to 59 months.

These are done through fixed site, house-to-house, and health center measles immunization, according to the health officer.

Last week, there were also some 16 call center workers found positive of the virus.

The city has been fighting the spread of measles. In 2014, it became the local government in the region with the most number of measles (apart from dengue) cases in the first three months of 2014, according to the Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit of DOH.

(UPDATE: After the Davao City, the Davao Region, Zamboanga City, a barangay in Taguig City, Negros Oriental, and Kabankalan City in Negros Occidental also declared an outbreak.)  Rappler.com