A FIVE-MONTH-OLD baby boy from Cebu City is the latest measles fatality in the region, according to records of the Department of Health (DOH) 7.
He is the 10th measles fatality in Central Visayas so far this year.
Dr. Jeanette Pauline Cortes, Medical Officer IV of DOH 7, said the Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit 7 has recorded a total of 1,058 measles cases from Jan. 1 to March 18 this year.
This is 1,026 percent higher compared to the same period last year.
Cebu City has the highest number of measles cases among the localities in the region with 322 cases.
Dr. Jonathan Neil Erasmo, chief of the Local Health Support Division of DOH 7, said that as of March 18, there is still a measles outbreak in the region.
“However, the number of measles cases is plateauing. Hopefully by last week of March or first two weeks of April, our measles cases will drop. That’s what we’re expecting,” he said, explaining that the increase in the number of cases occurs at a slower rate in comparison with earlier phases.
Cortes said that on the 35th day of the measles outbreak response, the DOH has vaccinated a total of 301,961 individuals.
Of the number, 120,697 are six to 59 months old. This is equivalent to 49.45 percent of the targeted 244,091 population in that age group, she said.
“We also received 6,000 measles rubella vials to augment the logistics of the Province and the local government units,” Cortes added.
Meanwhile, the DOH 7 has recorded a total of 5,339 dengue cases with 33 deaths from Jan. 1 to March 19.
The number is 234 percent higher compared to the same period last year.
The DOH called on the rural health units and the local government units to ensure that households that store water do so properly to avoid creating breeding sites for dengue-carrying mosquitoes.
“If we have to store water, we have to make sure the containers are covered. We also have to clean our surroundings,” DOH 7 senior health program officer Ma. Michelle Acosta said. (Wenilyn Sabalo, Correspondent)