Nearly 8,500 measles cases, 136 deaths reported in the Philippines


MANILA, Feb. 19, 2019 (Xinhua)

More Filipino children are getting sick of measles, according to the latest data from the Philippine Department of Health (DOH).
Since declaring a measles outbreak on Feb. 6, the DOH has reported 8,443 cases of measles and 136 deaths in the country as of last Saturday.
The number of measles cases is already 253 percent higher than the number of cases recorded in the same period in 2018, while the number of deaths represents an increase of 491 percent from the same period last year.
Most of the cases recorded this year are children below four years old, and half of the cases and nearly 60 percent of the deaths are in Metro Manila and Calabarzon region.
The DOH on Feb. 6 declared a major measles outbreak in Metro Manila, and later expanded to other areas of the Philippine main Luzon island and Central and Eastern Visayas in the central Philippines.
Philippine Health Secretary Francisco Duque said he expected cases to continue to rise because the outbreak has not yet been under control.
The DOH is working with government agencies in responding to the outbreak and is conducting a nationwide immunization campaign.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that is transmitted via droplets from nose, mouth or throat of infected persons.