The Philippines Department of Health (DOH) reported recently that the suspected measles outbreak in the province of Sarangani affected 84 persons as of November 28, with 18 deaths.

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

Age range of these suspect measles cases were from 4 months to 40 years old where majority are females. But only 18 (30%) of them were physically checked up by a physician, while the rest were based on verbal accounts of the relatives and barangay officials.

All of the suspect cases have no history of measles. On November 22, the serum specimen collected from twelve (20%) of these cases were sent to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) for Measles Confirmatory Test.

Philippines: Measles cases up dramatically in 2018

During the investigation, the response team was able to vaccinate 49 children aged 6 months to 12 years old with Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine, and was able to immunized an additional 246 children, also with MMR vaccine, during the second deployment.

“The DOH reacts swiftly during medical emergencies, such as suspected disease outbreaks in certain localities. This is in response to its mandate of ensuring the safety of the public in times of emergencies to contain its effect and not to cause further stress to our fellowmen. Rest assured that the DOH is always ready to respond and provide the needed health service to the public,” Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III concluded.