The suspected measles-rubella cases in Bacolod City reached 53 yesterday, with 22 barangays affected by the contagious disease, Dr. Grace Tan, head of the Environmental Sanitation Division of the Bacolod City Health Office, said.
However, Tan said there were no reported deaths in Bacolod due to measles. And since there are no confirmed cases they have labeled them “suspected measles cases.”
Barangay Taculing had seven cases, the highest number of reported measles case from January 1 to February 10, followed by Mansilingan with six cases, Brgy. 14 and Bata – 4 cases each; Brgys. 35, Alijis, Estefania, Handumanan, and Granada – 3 cases each; Villamonte, Vista Alegre, Singcang-Airport, and Tangub – 2 cases each; and Brgys. Banago, 10, 13, 26, 29, Mandalagan, 3, 1, and 6 with 1 case each.
Tan said the age group in Bacolod affected by the contagious disease ranges from 3 months old to 53 years old.
She said the total measles cases last year reached 263 with two deaths but all were unconfirmed.
Tan said measles is a viral infection that lasts five to seven days. Fever and rashes come out of the infected person usually within five to seven days also.
City Health Officer Dr. Ma. Carmela Gensoli called on parents to bring their children to the nearest health centers because they have available vaccines due to the outbreak that has caused chaos in the whole country.
Gensoli said she has instructed health centers in the city to provide fast lanes for those who have symptoms of measles so they can be given medical attention immediately.
CHO National Immunization Program coordinator Rosalie Deocampo said they conducted school-based immunization (SBI) last year in public schools covering Grades 1 to 7 to boost the immunization status they received when they were one year old.
Deocampo said that out of their 100 percent target, they were only able to immunize about 66 percent of Grade 1 and 70 percent of Grade 7 pupils.
They still have 30 percent of those who failed to receive the vaccine due to the Dengvaxia scare two years ago. They have to reach the remaining 30 percent because they are contributory to the spread of measles cases, she said.
Deocampo said they had also conducted supplemental immunization activity (SIA) in response to the increasing cases of measles in November and December last year. However, they only covered 43 percent or their target covering six months to five years old. So they still have 57 percent to vaccinate.
She said they are trying to strengthen their campaign against measles by strengthening their routine immunization in the barangays, that will cover those six months old to 12 years old.
The target for their routine immunization is about 15,603 but they have only covered about 10,142, she added.
Deocampo said they will try to convince those who refuse to be immunized to submit to vaccination because there is already an outbreak of the disease. If they do not get immunized, they will contribute to its spread.
She said Bacolod was number one in the implementation of the school-based immunization (SBI) program last year with an accomplishment of 94 to 96 percent. The SBI is a national program being held every August and covers public school children from Grades 1 to 7.*
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