By NewsDesk @bactiman63
The measles outbreak in the Philippines has declined significantly in past weeks, prompting officials to set the risk at moderate at national level.
In fact, the number of newly reported cases in the latest week was 0.5 percent lower than in the same time period in 2018.
Between 1 January and 11 May 2019, 34,950 measles cases including 477 deaths were officially reported through the routine surveillance system from the DoH, with a Case Fatality Rate (CFR) of 1.37 percent.
The National Capital Region (NCR) has seen the most cases (6751), followed by CALABARZON (6481), Central Luzon (5803) and the Western Visayas (2102).
Up to 8 May 2019, 5,369,746 individuals have been vaccinated against measles and rubella: 3,487,673 aged 6-59 months (92% of the target population of 3,784,099).
According to UNICEF, the current measles outbreak started late 2017 in Mindanao. In 2018, 20,827 cases were reported with 199 deaths. Outbreak and supplementary immunization activities in 2018 were ineffective in addressing the outbreak as the immunization activity was met with increased vaccine hesitancy due to the Dengue vaccine controversy. Weak routine immunization leading to a decrease in overall immunization coverage in recent years resulted in large immunity gaps among younger children against vaccine preventable diseases including measles.