Measles outbreak declared in Maguindanao

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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

COTABATO CITY -- A measles outbreak has been declared in Maguindanao and health personnel have taken steps to prevent more cases in the province's 36 municipalities, officials said.

Dr. Kadil Sinolinding, regional health secretary of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) where Maguindanao is a component province, said that for the month of April alone, there were 12 cases of measles confined at the Cotabato Regional Hospital and Medical Center (CRMC).

”We are addressing it, we declared outbreak to contain the measles and prevent its spread,” Sinolinding said.

From January to date, 49 cases have been reported in Maguindanao, 37 of which were already confirmed by the laboratory tests conducted by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).

The patients are from the towns of Parang, Shariff Aguak, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Datu Abdullah Sangki, Matanog, Barira, Upi, Datu Unsay, Datu Hoffer, Mamasapano, Sultan Kudarat and Pagalungan.

“This is alarming because this is highly contagious and can be transferred to other persons by air,” Sinolinding said.

The health secretary said he already ordered an investigation why the provincial health office did not submit a status report to his office in Cotabato City.

He also appealed to DOH-Manila for additional vaccines for heavily affected towns.

Maguindanao is one of the five component provinces of ARMM, which also covers Lanao del Sur, also in mainland Mindanao, and the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

Measles is an infection of the respiratory system, immune system and skin caused by a virus, specifically a paramyxovirus of the genus Morbillivirus.

Symptoms usually develop 7 to 14 days after exposure to an infected person and the initial symptoms usually include a high fever.

Measles is spread through respiration (contact with fluids from an infected person's nose and mouth, either directly or through aerosol transmission) and is highly contagious.

Medical experts said 90 percent of people without immunity sharing a living space with an infected person will catch it. (PNA)

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