Sarangani town declares measles outbreak-A A +A
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
GENERAL SANTOS CITY -- Health authorities have declared a measles outbreak in Alabel town, Sarangani province due to the increasing cases of the highly contagious viral disease in the area.
Alabel Municipal Health Office (MHO) chief Dr. Honorato Fabio said Tuesday that they already recorded a total of 189 confirmed measles cases with two fatalities as a result of its complications in nine of the town’s 13 villages.
Fabio said the two fatalities, who were both children, came from the villages of Pag-asa and Alegria where initial measles cases were recorded.
He added that majority of the cases were detected in the last three months, starting from the second week of April.
The most affected village is Pag-asa where 110 cases were recorded in the months of May and June.
The other measles cases were detected at Barangay Domolok with 44; Alegria with 16; Poblacion with nine; Datal Anggas with four; Bagacay and Kawas with two each; and Paraiso and Ladol with one each.
Fabio said that, due to the outbreak, officials in the villages of Alegria, Poblacion, and Domolok have declared their areas under state of calamity.
The official added that they are recommending the same declaration for the entire municipality, but the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MDRRMC) said there was no need for such move.
Fabio said they earlier took blood samples from the patients and sent them to the Department of Health’s (DOH) Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Alabang, Muntinlupa City, but it has yet to release the results.
The DOH and the World Health Organization (WHO) consider a single confirmed or positive case of measles by way of serological examination as an outbreak. However, Fabio said they declared the outbreak even with the absence of the test results, noting that measles could easily be detected and confirmed clinically.
The MHO has intensified their disease surveillanve and measles immunization activities.
Parents of children aged five years old and below are advised to immediately seek treatment if they see abnormalities.
Measles symptoms include high-grade fever, heavy cough, colds, emergence of skin rashes, and conjunctival region or redness in the eyes. (PNA)