Measles outbreak declared in Central Visayas

Children are being treated for measles on Thursday at a hospital in Manila where an outbreak of the viral disease has earlier been declared. Health officials said that the dengue vaccine scare in 2017 had deterred many parents from inoculating their children against other diseases. Photo: Francis R. Malasig/EPA, via Shutterstock

A measles outbreak has been declared in Central Visayas, Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque said on Thursday.

“We are expanding the outbreak from Metro Manila to other regions as cases have increased in the past weeks and to strengthen surveillance if there are new cases and alert mothers and caregivers to be more vigilant,” Duque said in a press conference.


As of January 26, the DOH recorded 71 cases and one death due to measles in Central Visayas in 2019.

A measles outbreak has also been declared in CALABARZON and Region 6.

“Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. It is transferred from person to person by sneezing, coughing and through close personal contact,” said Duque.

For his part, Bohol Provincial Health Office (PHO) chief Dr. Reymoses Cabagnot said that there have been no reported measles cases in the province so far.

“So karon, ang atong sitwasyon sa Bohol, tulo ra’y atong measles suspect pa kay for confirmation pa sa RITM [Research Institute for Tropical Medicine],” said Cabagnot.

The PHO has also yet to receive formal communication from the DOH 7 regarding the measles outbreak in the region.

Cabagnot called on parents to have their children vaccinated, quelling fears that the vaccine will have severe side effects.

“Ang tambal sa tigdas, gi-gamit ni 25 anyos na, mao rang tambala. So di ni angay ipanundog sa Dengvaxia na upat pa man ka tuig, bag-o pa man na gihatag para sa dengue,” he said. “Og naay mga komplikasyon sa Dengvaxia, dili angay ipareha sa bakuna sa tigdas kay dugay na kaayo ning klaseha sa tambal gi gamit para sa bata.”

The DOH has also reminded the public that vaccination is still the key measure to prevent the spread of the contagious viral disease. (R. Tutas)

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