Measles outbreak declared in 4 of 5 provinces in Cagayan Valley

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 21) — The Health Department declared a measles outbreak in Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino after an 8-month child died and 82 cases of the contagious disease were reported across these areas as of Wednesday.

Region II health director Dr. Rio Magpantay said Thursday the most affected age group were children from one to five years old, with a count of 25 cases. Infants as young as 22 days and adults up to 37 years old contracted the disease in the Cagayan Valley Region.

Batanes has no reported measles case and is the only remaining province in the region without a measles outbreak.

Earlier this month, the DOH declared a measles outbreak in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, CALABARZON, Western Visayas and Central Visayas.

The most number of people who contracted measles in the region was reported from Cagayan province with 30 cases, followed by Isabela with 25 cases, Nueva Vizcaya with 17 cases and Quirino province with 10 cases of measles.

Magpantay said the number of cases rose by 645% compared to the same period last year. From January to February 20, 2018 only 11 cases of measles were reported in Region II.

A breakdown of cases per municipality in each province is as follows:

Cagayan (30 cases)

Abulug - one case

Aparri - four cases

Baggao - four cases

Buguey - two cases

Iguig - one case

Lallo - one case

Penablanca - one case

Solana - one case

Tuao - three cases

Tuguegarao - 12 cases

 

lsabela (25 cases)

Benito Soliven -one case

Cabagan - four cases

Cauayan - four cases

Delfin Albano - one case

Gamu - one case

Ilagan - four cases

Maconacon - one case

Palanan - two cases

San Mariano - three cases

San Pablo - one case

Santa Maria - one case

Santiago - two cases

 

Nueva Vizcaya (17 cases)

Ambaguio - two cases

Aritao -one case

Bambang - three cases

Bayombong - three cases

Dupax del norte - one case

Kasibu - one case

Quezon - one case

Santa Fe - two cases

Solano - two cases

Villaverde - one case

 

Quirino (ten  cases)

Aglipay - one case

Cabarroguis - two cases

Diffun - four cases, one death

Maddela - two cases

Saguday - one case

Magpantay said the Department of Health (DOH) is conducting an outbreak response immunization program for children six months old to 59 months old regardless of immunization status. He added that they have coordinated with provincial, city and municipal health officers and deployed health workers to affected areas. Vaccines and other logistical requirements are also being provided, he said.

The health official also said they have been implementing an immunization program and reaching out to parents to have their children vaccinated even before the outbreak was declared. However, some parents refused to avail of the program.

"Nagsimula talaga ng outbreak response immunization kahit hindi pa dineclare ng outbreak dito, ibig sabihin lahat na lokal na gobyerno ay inatasan na rin natin o pinakiusapan na kailangan magpabakuna subalit siguro sa mga areas ng mga refusals nagkaroon ng medyo hindi magandang pagkaintindihan sa ating mga nanay. 'Yun ang ating binibigyan ng pansin," Magpantay told CNN Philippines' Newsroom Nagyon.

[Translation: We really started our outbreak response immunization even before they declared a measles outbreak here. We assigned and spoke to the local government units to have children vaccinated however in some areas where parents refused, there may have been a misunderstanding. That is what we are looking into now.]

This comes after the DOH reported that the number of measles cases in the country reached 8,443 from January to February 18 this year. Of these cases, 135 people have died.