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PIA Press Release

DOH takes steps to curb measles in Western Visayas

Iloilo City (10 March) -- The Department of Health (DOH) - Center for Health Development 6 here has taken steps to curb the rising cases of measles in Western Visayas.

In its press report, DOH 6 said strategies and interventions are now being implemented aimed to help curb measles in the region.

Some of these interventions include the conduct of immunization of the measles vaccine to all children ages 6 months old and 15 years old regardless of immunizations result and an Outbreak Response Immunization to barangays/cities/municipalities with measles cases; regionwide administration of 2nd Opportunity for Measles Vaccination to all children ages 15 months to 23 months old; follow-up and vaccination of all defaulters (for all vaccines) from 2006 up to the present; and strengthening of routine vaccination through Reaching Every Barangay Strategy.

Other interventions are Vitamin A supplementation for children ages 6 months to 71 months old and provision of Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccines to children ages 12-23 months old this March in Iloilo City.

DOH 6 data showed that there are 25 confirmed measles cases in the region as of January 2010 to February 23, 2010 which is 96 percent higher as compared to the same period last year. Iloilo Province recorded the most number of cases during the period.

One of the reasons identified for the increasing number of measles in the region is the low immunization coverage.

According to DOH, 60 percent of the reported cases from January 2010 to February 23 are not immunized.

"The low immunization coverage also entails poor "herd immunity" predisposing other immunized children to measles disease while other children and adults have questionable or unknown immunization history due to poor recall or no immunization documents", said DOH 6.

Measles is a viral illness that is considered very infectious, characterized by fever, generalized non-vesicular rash, cough, runny nose and redness of the eyes and is more common in children but adults may be infected. (PIA) [top]

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