Over 2K measles cases, 55 deaths found in 2013

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

MANILA -- The Department of Health (DOH), on Wednesday, reported that more than 2,000 measles cases have already been confirmed in 2013, including 55 killed by its complications.

According to DOH – National Epidemiology Center (NEC) head Dr. Eric Tayag, they have already verified a total of 2,232 measles cases from the period of January 1 to December 31, 2013.

“The figure is 712 cases higher compared to the number of cases reported for the entire 2012, which is 1,520,” noted DOH consultant Dr. Willie Ong in a media forum.

The National Capital Region has the highest number of cases with 1,051; followed by Calabarzon with 526; and Western Visayas with 306.

And according to DOH Secretary Enrique Ona, they expect more of the same, at least, in the early weeks of January.

“Ang nakikita ko based sa data natin, pwede ngang sabihin ko na bumaba this past week. But I’m not ready to say na pababa na… it’s too early to say that,” said Ona.

This is despite the government’s massive vaccination efforts in recent weeks.

According to the health chief, the effects of the massive vaccination campaign can only be felt between two weeks to a month.

“In short, it will take you two weeks to a month. Hopefully, we can see the lessening of cases in the following weeks,” said Ona.

Earlier, the DOH began doing house-to-house vaccinations in areas where there are declared outbreaks, where children between six months to 59 months are being given measles shots.

Parallel to it, the DOH will also do “catch-up” vaccination in local health centers in areas with low coverage for those that failed to have their children vaccinated.

By September, the DOH will be launching its regular mass vaccination campaign nationwide as part of its effort to eliminate measles in the country. (HDT/SFP/Sunnex)

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