MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) announced on Thursday, February 7, that they have expanded the measles outbreak to other areas of Luzon, Central Visayas and Eastern Visayas.
In a news briefing, health Secretary Francisco Duque III reiterated his appeal to the public to have children vaccinated against measles.
“We are expanding the outbreak from Metro Manila to the other regions as cases have increased in the past weeks,” Duque said.
He said the DOH made the announcement also “to strengthen the surveillance of new cases and to alert mothers and caregivers to be more vigilant.”
Last Wednesday, the DOH said that 55 children have died of measles in an outbreak in the National Capital Region (NCR) which is attributed to “low vaccine coverage because of the Dengvaxia scare.”
San Lazaro Hospital in Manila has admitted 1,504 patients for measles, 1,355 of whom were children and teenagers, as of Tuesday, February 6.
“We are declaring an outbreak as cases have increased in the past weeks and to strengthen surveillance of new cases and alert mothers and caregivers to be more vigilant,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said.
In an earlier statement, the DOH said that the country’s vaccination coverage rate had dropped to 60 percent following the controversy surrounding Dengvaxia. The scare resulted in some parents refusal to have their children vaccinated for fear that they would suffer adverse side effects.