40 new measles cases reported in Region 12

A child infected with measles. MindaNews file photo

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/7 March) – The Department of Health (DOH) in Region 12 declared the measles incidence in the region as still under control even as it recorded at least 40 new cases since last week.

Jenny Ventura, spokesperson of the DOH-12’s anti-measles campaign, said Thursday the suspected measles cases in the entire region from Jan. 1 to March 6 have already reached a total of 382.

She said such figure was about 6 percent higher compared to the 362 cases in the same period last year.

The disease incidence in the area was reported at 342, with three deaths, as of the end of February.

“It’s still much lesser compared to other regions that already declared measles outbreaks,” Ventura said during the “Kapehan sa PIA” at the SM Mall here.

South Cotabato province posted the most number of cases with 104, followed by Sarangani with 79, North Cotabato with 74, General Santos City with 61, Cotabato City 45 and Sultan Kudarat with 19.

North Cotabato reported an increase of 18 cases since last week, South Cotabato with nine, this city with five, Sultan Kudarat with four and Cotabato City with four more.

Cotabato City has become part of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Ventura said the number of fatalities remained at three and health workers are exerting all efforts to prevent more deaths due to the disease.

“It’s (deaths) really a big thing because measles is a preventable disease by way of vaccination,” she said.

Local health offices, in coordination with the DOH, have been conducting massive catch-up immunization in the region for measles and rubella, covering infants and children aged six to 59 months.

Ventura assured that they have enough supplies of vaccines for the immunization activity, which was set until the end of the month.

She said barangay health workers have been visiting households to ensure that all eligible children would be immunized for measles and other diseases.

“Our health workers will also be giving the excess measles vaccines to those beyond 59 months, including adults, to properly contain the disease,” she added. (MindaNews)