The number of measles cases and deaths in the Philippines rose by 1,578 and five, respectively during the month of November according to data from the World Health Organization’s Measles-Rubella Bulletin for November 2014.

Republic of the Philippines

The number of suspected and confirmed cases reached 55,388, up from 53,810 one month prior. In addition, the number of deaths due to measles went from 102 to 107 during the same period.

Elsewhere in the Western Pacific Region, the WHO reports that China has topped 100,000 suspected and confirmed cases, currently at 103,375.

In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports from January 1 to October 31, 2014, there have been 603 confirmed measles cases reported to CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD). This is the highest number of cases since measles elimination was documented in the U.S. in 2000.

In addition, the federal health agency says many of the cases in the U.S. in 2014 have been associated with cases brought in from the Philippines.

CDC recommends that travelers to the Philippines protect themselves by making sure they are vaccinated against measles, particularly infants 6–11 months of age (1 dose of measles vaccine) and children 12 months of age or older (2 doses of measles vaccine). Clinicians should keep measlesin mind when treating patients with fever and rash, especially if the patient has recently traveled internationally.

Measles or rubeola, is an acute highly communicable viral disease that is characterized by Koplik spots in the cheek or tongue very early in the disease. A couple of days later a red blotchy rash appears first on the face, and then spreads, lasting 4-7 days. Other symptoms include fever, cough and red watery eyes. The patient may be contagious from four days prior to the rash appearance to four days after rash appearance.

The disease is more severe in infants and adults. Complications from measles which is reported in up to 20% of people infected include; seizurespneumonia, deafness and encephalitisFor more infectious diseasenews and informationvisit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page