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PIA Press Release
2007/09/19

DOH-7: 1-month mass immunization campaign vs measles starts October 15 nationwide

Cebu City (19 September) -- A countrywide one-month mass immunization campaign against measles dubbed "Knock Out Tigdas" is slated on October 15 until November 15, 2007 to prevent a nationwide outbreak.

All children ages nine to 48 months or two-year olds should be vaccinated to reduce the number of children at risk of getting measles that have been built since 2004.

Measles is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus that mostly affects children.

It is easily and rapidly transmitted through air or direct contact.

A child with measles usually has blotchy rashes all over the body for three days or more. Fever accompanies measles and usually with cough, runny nose and reddish eyes.

Children who suffer from measles may experience complications including pneumonia, encephalitis, blindness, deafness, ear infection, diarrhea and dehydration. Complications due to measles can cause death.

The Department of Health (DOH) has a toll order of eliminating measles by end of next year as the country has adopted a 10-year plan to eliminate measles in 1998. In that year, an initial "Catch-Up" mass campaign against measles was conducted.

In 2004, another national campaign on measles eradication was done dubbed "Ligtas Tigdas" which was able to reduce measles cases by 96 percent and deaths by 99 percent.

Failure of the routine program to reach every child however, resulted in the accumulation of an estimated 2.5 million susceptible children since 2004, according to the DOH-7.

The coming "Knock Out Tigdas" is a second follow-up on measles mass immunization campaign nationwide. (PIA-Cebu/FCR) [top]

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