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Philippines’ measles, rubella cases now 153% higher year-on-year at 450

A total of 450 measles and rubella cases were recorded from January 1 to September 17, 2022, which was 153% higher than those recorded during the same period last year, the Department of Health (DOH) said Wednesday.

Based on the DOH’s national measles and rubella data as of September 17, there were only 178 cases logged from January 1 to September 17, 2021.

Cumulatively, most of the measles and rubella cases this year or 16% were reported in Calabarzon at 70.

It was followed by Central Visayas with 61 cases (14%), and the National Capital Region (NCR) with 47 cases (10%).

From August 21 to September 17, 2022 alone, 68 measles and rubella cases were reported, most of which from Calabarzon with 16 cases or 24%.

This was followed by Eastern Visayas with 12 cases (18%), and Central Visayas, Northern Mindanao, and NCR with seven cases each (10%).

The DOH said Calabarzon, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, and Soccsksargen showed measles and rubella case increases in the recent four morbidity weeks or on August 21 to September 17.

During the same period, Cagayan Valley, Calabarzon, Central Visayas, and NCR, meanwhile, surpassed the measles epidemic threshold levels.

The measles clusters were specifically logged in Barangay Caranglaan, Dagupan City, Pangasinan, and Barangay Balangasan, Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur.

Thirty-six cases were classified as laboratory confirmed measles, while 37 cases were tagged as laboratory confirmed rubella, according to DOH.

Two individuals also reportedly died in August and September due to measles and rubella. This posed a 0.4% case fatality rate.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), measles is a “highly contagious, serious” disease caused by a virus that is usually transmitted through direct contact and through the air. Its symptoms include high fever, runny nose, a cough, red and watery eyes, small white spots or rashes.

On the other hand, rubella is a contagious viral infection that most often affects children and young adults. It is transmitted by airborne droplets when infected people sneeze or cough, and may cause a mild fever and rash in children and adults.

DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire on Tuesday warned against an impending measles outbreak in 2023 due to the low complete immunization coverage among Filipino children.

She said that there are almost 3 million children in the country who have not yet received any of the two doses of the measles vaccine. — RSJ, GMA News

Tags: news, measles, rubella