Measles cases double in CAR-A A +A
Thursday, September 5, 2013
MEASLES continue to spread all over the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) as the number of cases recorded increased to 224 percent.
The Department of Health's (DOH) latest monthly disease surveillance report revealed measles tops the list of illnesses with the highest increase by percentage.
The report covers January to August 31 this year.
The report revealed measles had 224 percent increase followed by meningitis with 81 percent hike, acute encephalitis syndrome (67 percent), and non – neonatal tetanus with 57 percent increase.
Last year, there were 49 suspected cases of measles in the region where it grew to 159 in 2013.
Center for Health Development – Licensing and Regulations Support Division Chief Dr. Erwin Baclig said measles is a highly contagious and serious disease caused by a virus.
Measles is caused by a virus in the paramyxovirus family. The measles virus normally grows in the cells that line the back of the throat and lungs. Measles is a human disease and is not known to occur in animals.
The first sign of measles is usually high fever, which begins about 10 to 12 days after exposure to the virus, and lasts four to seven days. A runny nose, a cough, red and watery eyes, and small white spots inside the cheeks can develop in the initial stage. After several days, a rash erupts, usually on the face and upper neck. Over about three days, the rash spreads, eventually reaching the hands and feet. The rash lasts for five to six days, and then fades. On average, the rash occurs 14 days after exposure to the virus (within a range of seven to 18 days).
Based on the report, the province of Benguet had the highest increase with 528.57 percent increase of patients from 2012. Baguio City came in second with 186.66 percent and Apayao with 55.55 percent case hike.
Baclig revealed most females are being affected while 25 to 59 age groups are the most victims.
Regional Expanded Program on Immunization Coordinator Dr. Alexi Marrero said among the 159 suspected cases of measles in the region, there were 35 confirmed victims through positive laboratory tests. These victims are from Benguet – Itogon (12), La Trinidad (4), and Buguias (1); Baguio City with 17; and Lamut, Ifugao with one patient.
Meanwhile, the disease report reveals no cases were reported on acute hemorrhagic fever, cholera, neonatal tetanus, and paralytic selfish poisoning which Baclig claimed as good news for the region. He added the hand, foot and mouth disease; and pertussis have 100 percent decrease of patients since last year. Cases of leptospirosis and malaria also decreased by 71 and 40 percent, respectively.
In order to avoid measles, DOH officials encourage parents to let their children be immunized against the illness.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on September 06, 2013.