Published Date: 2010-05-23 12:00:04
Subject: PRO/EDR> Measles - Philippines (05)
Archive Number: 20100523.1708
MEASLES - PHILIPPINES (05)
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Fri 21 May 2010
Source: Malaya [edited]
Two months after some parts of the country experienced a measles
outbreak, the number of measles cases has almost reached the 2000
mark based on statistics from the Department of Health's National
Epidemiology Center (NEC).
An NEC Disease Surveillance Report dated 10 Apr 2010 said a total of
1794 measles cases have been confirmed since 1 Jan 2010. "Compared to
the previous year, the number of confirmed cases increased by 387.5
percent," said the report. During the same period in 2009, only 368
measles cases were confirmed by the DOH.
Most of the confirmed cases this year  are found in the
National Capital Region (967 cases), Calabarzon (268 cases), Central
Luzon (105 cases), and Bicol (101 cases).
The number of deaths also grew from only 3 in 2009 to 8 during the
1st 3.5 months of this year . "Five of the fatalities were less
than 12 months of age, while 2 cases belonged to the 1-4 years age
group, and one case is from 10 to 14 years," the report said.
Last March , at least 18 communities recorded a measles
outbreak, with the total number of confirmed cases breaching the 368
cases set last year . Health officials had said then that they
were looking at the possibility that the outbreak was being caused by
a new strain from overseas.
Aside from the confirmed cases, 1228 other cases have pending
laboratory results to confirm if they are really measles.
[Byline: Gerard M. Naval]
[Measles in many provinces of the Philippines is an increasing public
health problem. Deficiencies in vaccination coverage rather than
introduction of a new strain of measles virus from overseas is a more
Up to 1990, the Philippines had reported one of the highest measles
rates in the Pacific region. Measles rates in the Philippines
declined dramatically after 1990, in parallel with increased
vaccination usage (see the graph at
<http://exhibit.gideononline.com/measles-phil.jpg>). No measles cases
were reported from June 2004 to December 2006, an historic
achievement for the Philippines as a consequence of the 2004 Ligtas
Tigdas Campaign of the Health Department [a special nationwide
vaccination month for children who were at high risk of getting
measles]. Subsequently, there has been a resurgence in measles cases,
probably as a consequence of relaxation of the vaccination programme
due to financial constraints.
A map of the provinces of the Philippines can be accessed at:
<http://www.reliefweb.int/mapc/asi_se/cnt/phil/phl_ad.html>, and the
HealthMap/ProMED-mail interactive map of the Philippines is available
at <http://healthmap.org/r/00bk>. - Mod.CP]