Measles outbreak declared in Surigao City

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews/06 May) — A measles outbreak was declared in the city on Saturday after the disease was found to have downed several persons, mostly children, an official said.

Romulo Ybiernas, chief epidemiologist at the City Health Office said the number of victims had reached 124 cases as of Monday.

Ybiernas added one patient died last April 2 in a private hospital here.

He said their office recorded some 20 cases of measles every week.

The official noted that Barangays Taft, Washington, Canlanipa and Rizal have the most number of victims of this air-borne disease.

“This has something to do with sanitation in these areas and only means that these areas are not clean,” he said.

Ybiernas also warned that even older people should not take chances saying the disease has not spared some adults.

“We have a patient and his age is 54 and there are few adults,” he told MindaNews on Sunday.

He said 53 percent of those hit by measles were males while 68 percent belonged had ages 0-10 years old.

On Saturday, the Surigao City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council formulated an Incident Command System for measles outbreak in response to the increasing cases of victims.

The city also set up two operation centers, one at the Surigao Park and one in Barangay Taft.

“These are composed of physician, nurses, sanitary inspectors, medical technologist, nutritionist, barangay health workers, among others,” said Annette Villaces, City Information Officer.

She said the city government is now undertaking massive vaccination for all suspected patients. (Roel N. Catoto/MindaNews)