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Health officials in Davao City in the southern Philippines are reporting a recent increase in measles cases, according to a SunStar report yesterday.

Face of child with measles. Image/CDC
Face of child with measles. Image/CDC

The report notes that 16 measles cases were confirmed by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Manila and health officials say another 222 suspected cases based on symptoms.

The first case was seen in November and began picking up in December. It is not clear how the virus got there and many people who may be from outside Davao do not have immunization records.

LISTEN: Measles: The ABCs of this very contagious viral disease

The report states an Outbreak Immunization Response (ORI) last November and December was made to prevent an outbreak or epidemic. They managed to immunize 15 thousand children but 600 refused immunization. Officials wonder if the Dengvaxia situation has prompted fear in vaccinations.

In the Philippines through October 2017, 781 lab-confirmed and compatible cases and no deaths were reported, a dramatic decrease from the 2014 outbreak when more than 50,000 cases and more than 100 deaths were seen.