Measles outbreak in Manila: 'No new virus strain' says DOH

Manila, Philippines - Measles outbreak in the NCR region has been declared by the Department of Health (DOH) in the first week of January 2014. Recent study shows that there's no new strain of air-borne virus that is affecting the country now.

Meales outbreak Manila 2014

The study on the possibility of new type of measles virus was conducted by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) together with DOH Undersecretary Ted Herbosa.

“The virus circulating, it’s the same strain. It’s not a new strain. We have already confirmed this,” said Herbosa.

Mass measles vaccination in Metro Manila

On Thursday, Health Secretary Enrique T. Ona leads the ceremonial measles vaccination to signal the start of mass measles vaccination in identified outbreak areas in Metro Manila.

According to DOH, there were a total of 1,724 cases with 21 deaths recorded nationwide from January to December 14 last year. Outbreaks have been recorded in some parts of Manila, Kalookan, Las Piñas, Malabon, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Parañaque, Taguig, and Valenzuela.

DOH with the local government units heightened campaign against the spread of measles in the NCR. Health centers across Metro Manila, children aged 9 to 11 months have been receiving their first dose of the measles vaccine, while children aged 12 to 23 months have been inoculated with their second dose.

In areas where there have been rising cases of measles, or a significant number of unvaccinated children, mobile teams have been deployed for a door-to-door approach that will ensure children 9 months to 59 months (5 years) old receive their first dose or complete with their second.

Nancy Binay: Don't blame 'Yolanda' survivors for measles

Senator Maria Lourdes 'Nancy' Binay reacts on the issue as DOH Undersecretary Eric Tayag points that 'Yolanda' survivors have direct cause on the spread of measles virus in Metro Manila and other parts of the country.

Binay said the DOH should assess the apparent failure of the government’s anti-measles campaign over the past years.

"Instead of blaming parents and survivors of super typhoon 'Yolanda' for the measles outbreak, the DOH should act now to stem any epidemic," Binay said.

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