FOUR patients have died of measles as the Department of Health (DOH) Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) recorded a 967 percent increase in suspected measles cases in the region as of August 10.
The DOH regional office reported 939 cases from January to August 10, 2019 compared to 88 cases in 2018.
DOH-CAR Senior Health Officer Karen Lonogan explained measles has its own cycle which was noted in 2012, 2014, 2018 and 2019.
“In our region, the highest number of suspected measles cases was recorded in the Province of Benguet with 384 cases followed by Baguio City with 333 cases while the least number of cases was recorded in Kalinga Province.”
The bulk of cases was recorded during the measles outbreak nationwide which is considerably high, that’s the reasons why we conducted an active measles surveillance,” Lonogan said.
Although the increase was recorded in the first four months this year, the health department is now seeing a downtrend in the said cases following their active surveillance efforts.
“For now, since we have singular cases being recorded, we are hoping that this does not reach around 1000 cases or more which is why our actions and recommendations are now being instituted and we are not logging to that kind of thinking and we are intensifying our surveillance activities while monitoring the disease,” Lonogan stated.
Meanwhile, cases of dengue in the region have not reached the epidemic threshold based on the DOH data, although some municipalities exceeded their epidemic threshold.
“We continue to guard and monitor the cases of dengue in the region like in the provinces of Abra, Apayao and some parts of Benguet which have exceeded the epidemic threshold. Even if they are in the epidemic threshold, they should be on alert. Actually last March, we have released letters informing our local chief executives on the status of our dengue cases including parents of students in schools regarding the prevention and control of the disease,” Lonogan added.
Based on the agency’s record from January to August 10 this year, suspected dengue cases have increased 15 percent to 4,704, with nine deaths recorded, compared to 4,076 last year.