THE Department of Health (DOH) in Central Luzon region has been conducting a series of intensified measles outbreak response immunization.
DOH Regional Director Cesar Cassion and the Philippine National Police in Pampanga led the vaccination of children in Barangays Balibago and Pampang in Angeles City over the weekend.
This was simultaneous with the Japanese encephalitis immunization program.
At the same time, he said the DOH is coordinating with the executives in the region on the possible extension of vaccination services to include weekends.
Data from the DOH’s Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU) showed that from January to February 12, there were 721 measles cases with 14 deaths in the region.
The three provinces with the highest number of measles in Central Luzon were: Bulacan with 222 cases and four deaths; Pampanga with 191 cases and four deaths; and Tarlac with 180 cases and four deaths.
Measles is a highly infectious and communicable disease caused by a virus. Symptoms include high fever, cough, conjunctivitis and colds.
If not properly managed, it can lead to complications, such as blindness, encephalitis, pneumonia, diarrhea and even death.
This March, the Health department is in full operation to vaccinate all children 9 to 59 months of age against Japanese encephalitis.
Japanese encephalitis is a disease spread through mosquito bites and its symptoms, such as fever, vomiting, confusion and difficulty of moving, could lead to swelling of the brain and coma and eventually death.
The DOH said that there is no specific antiviral treatment for Japanese encephalitis. Vaccination is the single most important control measure.
The department is advising the public to get in touch with their local public health officers for the schedule of vaccinations.