In a follow-up on the measles epidemic in the Philippines, government officials report a total of 12,736 cases through Feb. 24.
In addition, the number of deaths in the current outbreak has risen to 203.
The most affected age groups are in children– 1-4 years (3,981 or 31%) and <9 months (3,295 or 26%).
The National Capital Region, or Metro Manila, CALABARZON, Central Luzon, Western Visayas and Northern Mindanao account for 72 percent of cases.
More than 8,000 of the outbreak cases were unvaccinated.
The measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine is available for free in government hospitals and health centers for both children and adults.
Measles is a serious, highly contagious respiratory illness caused by the rubeola virus. It is the most deadly of all childhood rash/fever illnesses, but is preventable with vaccine. Symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes for a few days followed by rash. Complications from measles, which can range from an ear infection to encephalitis, are of great concern to public health practitioners.