After health officials have reported some 20 measles cases weekly in the city at the northernmost tip of the Philippine island of Mindanao, an outbreak has been declared, according to a MindaNews report Tuesday. This has prompted city officials to set up two operation centers composed of health professionals of all types.
Romulo Ybiernas, chief epidemiologist at the City Health Office said the number of victims had reached 124 cases as of Monday, at least one patient has died. The areas of Barangays Taft, Washington, Canlanipa and Rizal have reported the most number of cases, health officials note.
Although most of the cases are in children, officials say some adults are also affected by the contagious airborne virus. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page.
The city government is expected to undertake a mass vaccination program to stem the tide of the outbreak.
The Philippines has been battling a major measles outbreak nationwide. As of Mar. 20, the country has reported in excess of 21,000 cases and 69 fatalities, although this number is likely much higher now.
Measles is an acute, highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus that is easily spread. Symptoms of the measles usually appear in 7-21 days after exposure. Symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose, pink eye and a rash. The disease is highly contagious and can be transmitted from four days prior to the onset of the rash to four days after the onset. Anyone who is not immunized and gets exposed to the disease has a high likelihood of getting ill.