The measles outbreak in the Philippines continues to rise at breakneck speed. Health officials on Saturday released some updated data which show the 2019 outbreak is some 250 percent higher than last year at this time.

Image/ via wikimedia commons
Image/ via wikimedia commons

From Jan. 1-Feb. 16, the Philippines Department of Health (DOH) reports 8,443 measles cases, up from 4302 cases just one week ago. This compares to less than 2400 cases during the same period in 2018.

In addition, the measles outbreak death toll has nearly doubled in just the past week–going from 70 to 136 deaths in one week.

CALABARZON, Metro Manila and Central Luzon continue to report the most cases and deaths.

Just a couple of weeks ago, Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said, “Last year, we have observed a 40% drop in our vaccination rate and we expect a rise in the number of vaccine-preventable diseases in the near future”, and he couldn’t have been more correct.

Two-thirds of the cases were unvaccinated and many others were unaware of their vaccination status.

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