Measles outbreak declared in Philippines

Anne Curtis was named UNICEF national goodwill ambassador on Thursday. Shiela Reyes ABS-CBN News

Anne Curtis was named UNICEF national goodwill ambassador on Thursday. Shiela Reyes ABS-CBN News

HEALTH Secretary Francisco T. Duque III visits a young measles victim at the San Lazaro Hospital in Manila.

The capital region of Metro Manila has seen 441 cases, with five deaths, CNN Philippines reports, while many other areas across the country have also been affected.

The three new cases include a woman in her 20s, who came in contact with a measles patient living in northern Taiwan, confirmed as an imported case from Vietnam on January 16, and another two imported cases - one man in his 30s from Haiphong City, Vietnam and a 7-year-old girl from Manila, the Philippines, according to a CDC statement. Overall, cases jumped from 791 in 2017 to 5,120 past year.

Duque referred to the Dengvaxia vaccine scare as a main cause of the sudden rise in measles cases.

An outbreak of measles is spreading across the Philippines - with more than 1,500 cases of the disease and 26 deaths reported in recent weeks, authorities say.

However, due to the announcement of the measles outbreak on Thursday, February 25, Corpin said he was glad to announce that some parents had already availed of the free MMRV vaccination. This prompted the DOH to suspend its immunization programme, which was launched by President Benigno Aquino III.

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He said he hoped that as the public saw the effect of avoiding vaccination, parents would have their children inoculated not only to protect them from diseases but also to improve a community's collective immunity.

"Our children are protected so there is no cause for concern", said a statement by the Federal Health Ministry. Measles is an airborne disease that infects the respiratory tract, and its complications include severe diarrhea, pneumonia, blindness, and even death.

Pakistan has only recently carried out its largest-ever measles vaccination campaign for children.

"He was saddened... That's why he wanted something done immediately", presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo told reporters.

Bautista assured that he will continuously confer with city health officials to assess the measles situation vowing to conduct a more massive information drive to entice more parents to have their children vaccinated.

Sen. Risa Hontiveros sought the resignation of Public Attorney's Office chief Persida Acosta, whom she blamed for the measles outbreak that led to the death of at least 55 children. Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra also came to the defense of Acosta, saying she was just doing her job helping the families of children who died supposedly after being inoculated with the controversial anti-dengue vaccine, Dengvaxia.

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