22 dead in measles outbreak in the Philippines

22 dead in measles outbreak in the Philippines

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles disagreed, saying he did not believe compulsory immunization was needed.

Initially the epidemic was only declared for Metro Manila and Luzon, but on Thursday the Department of Health expanded the outbreak area to include other parts of the Philippines.

"At least you should have a sizable number or segment of the population that will be protected so that you begin to build a wall around the people who have not been vaccinated for a myriad of reasons, may it be religious or customary", he said.

The new National Goodwill Ambassador for United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) made this statement following the declaration of measles outbreak in several regions by the Department of Health (DOH).

An outbreak of measles has been declared in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Western Visayas, and Central Visayas, which came following a dip in immunization coverage past year following the controversy on anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia. "I can not be blaming her for that", he said. The same report indicated 70 cases with no deaths in Mimaropa (Region IV-B); 64 cases with two deaths in the Ilocos Region (Region I); 60 cases with no deaths in Northern Mindanao (Region X); 54 cases with one death in Western Visayas (Region VIII); and 43 cases with no deaths in Soccsksargen (Region XII.) Measles killed 30 in the first eight months of a year ago, and five in all of 2017.

From January 1 to 26, a total of 108 cases of measles with eight deaths were reported to the QC Health Department.

"We are very concerned [about] the situation because there are many cases of measles that ... could have been avoided if we had achieved higher vaccination coverage", Weiler said.

Last year, vaccination coverage was reported to be at around 40 percent. He expressed concern drop in the number of vaccinated children amid the fear arising from the alleged bungled implementation of the anti-dengue vaccine program. "Why deprive them of protection just because of a controversy involving one vaccine?" On Monday, seven deaths were recorded, while last week, nine children died within a single day.

The sharp increase in measles cases and deaths prompted senators to call on the public to get children vaccinated. "I urge parents and communities to take their children to the health center to be immunized". There is an outbreak of measles in the region.

Parents have been reluctant to have their children immunised at government health centres, after complications related to a dengue vaccine, Dengvaxia.