Published: Sat, February 09, 2019
Medicine | By Brett Sutton

Philippines hit by deadly measles outbreak after controversy over dengue vaccinations I#AsiaNewsNetwork

Philippines hit by deadly measles outbreak after controversy over dengue vaccinations I#AsiaNewsNetwork

In just the first month of 2019, the hospital tallied 1,550 reported cases of measles, in contrast to 2,654 cases and 68 deaths in 2018.

The 10 confirmed cases were from Antique (one each from Hamtic, San Jose and Patnongon towns), Iloilo (two from Cabatuan, one each from Janiuay and Maasin towns), and Negros Occidental (one each from Himamaylan town, Cadiz City and Sagay City). On Monday, seven deaths were recorded, while last week, nine children died within a single day.

The three new cases include a woman in her 20s, who came in contact with a measles patient living in northern Taiwan, confirmed as an imported case from Vietnam on January 16, and another two imported cases - one man in his 30s from Haiphong City, Vietnam and a 7-year-old girl from Manila, the Philippines, according to a CDC statement.

Corpin said that many parents became scared of the dengvaxia and were hesitant to vaccinate their children even for MMRV for fear of the same effects.

Duque referred to the Dengvaxia vaccine scare as a main cause of the sudden rise in measles cases.

She also appealed to parents to have their children vaccinated, adding that the anti-measles vaccine is unlike the controversial Dengvaxia.

The Health Ministry has issued a Travel Advisory to Pakistan Citizens in the wake of Measles Outbreak in Philippines.

President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the Department of Health to launch a "vigorous" campaign to promote vaccination following the declaration of a measles outbreak.

"We encourage government hospitals to convert at least one room into a measles isolation room to prevent the spread of the disease in the health facility", said Dr. Renilyn Reyes, Medical Officer IV, in a press briefing on Friday. "You know, the President is always affected by any negative outcome that relates to children".

The country's Public Attorney's Office indicted government officials in connection with deaths linked to the vaccine.

"He was saddened... That's why he wanted something done immediately", presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo told reporters.

The announcement of the rise in measles cases in Cebu City has prompted parents to avail of the free vaccination for this disease.

"I think it might be questioned before the courts somehow", he said.

Hontiveros claimed that Acosta politicized the Dengvaxia vaccine controversy, which forced parents not to have their children innoculated. The party-list group Anakalusugan supported the call for an intensified campaign to promote vaccination of children.

The government is not inclined to enforce a mandatory immunization of children despite the recent outbreak of measles in Metro Manila and other provinces, according to a Palace official.

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