BACOLOD City – The number of suspected measles cases in this city reached 53 so far this year, according to the City Health Office (CHO).
Dr. Grace Tan, head of CHO’s Environmental Sanitation Division, said they were still awaiting results of tests conducted at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine in Muntinlupa City, Metro Manila to confirm if the cases were indeed of measles.
The suspected cases of the highly contagious viral disease were recorded from Jan. 1 to Feb. 10, CHO records showed.
Barangay Taculing had the most number of cases with seven; followed by Barangay Mansilingan with six; barangays 14 and Bata with four each; barangays 35, Alijis, Estefania, Handumanan, and Granada with three each; and barangays Villamonte, Vista Alegre, Singcang-Airport, and Tangub with two each.
The youngest patient who had suspected measles was three months old while the oldest, 45 years old, the records added.
“As of now, we still do not have any deaths related to measles,” Tan said in a briefing yesterday.
In 2018, the CHO recorded 263 cases of measles with two fatalities in Bacolod.
Tan said they have stepped up their community- and school-based immunization program following the measles outbreak declaration in Western Visayas last week.
She added that CHO personnel are also conducting “door-to-door” immunization in barangays, targeting children aged six to 12 months old.
The supply of measles vaccine in Bacolod is sufficient, assured Tan.
Councilor Em Ang, chairwoman of the Sangguniang Panlungsod Committee on Health, said she already instructed barangay health centers to strengthen their campaign against measles.
The health centers were directed to step up vaccine promotion, monitor new measles cases and advise parents to be vigilant so that their children won’t contract the disease.
Aside from this, the CHO also set up vaccination desks to provide the public with necessary healthcare support.
The first sign of measles is usually a high fever, which begins about 10 to 12 days after exposure to the virus. The fever usually lasts for four to seven days.
Runny nose, cough, red and watery eyes, and small white spots inside the cheeks can develop in the initial stage of the disease.
After several days, a rash would erupt usually on the face and upper neck. On average, the rash occurs 14 days after exposure to the virus.
In Western Visayas, the Department of Health (DOH) recorded 166 measles cases with three suspected deaths as of Jan. 26.
DOH Region 6 recorded 1,052 suspected cases of measles in 2018 – 245 of which were eventually confirmed. In the same year, four deaths due to suspected measles were recorded./PN