Anti-vaxxers, take heed.
The Philippines’ Department of Health (DOH) has declared today that there is now a measles outbreak in Metro Manila and Central Luzon.
From Jan. 1 to Feb. 6 of this year, the DOH recorded 169 cases of measles in the National Capital Region (NCR), where Metro Manila is located, a huge jump from the 26 cases recorded at the same time last year, ABS-CBN News reported.
The number of suspected measles cases in NCR are even higher, with at least 861 recorded cases as of Feb. 2, DOH Undersecretary Eric Domingo told CNN Philippines.
The cities with the most number of suspected measles cases are Manila, Caloocan, Marikina, Pasig, Navotas, Parañaque, Taguig, Pasay, and Malabon, the same CNN Philippines article reported.
A similar outbreak is happening in Central Luzon where there have been more than 400 measles cases recorded since Jan. 1.
The DOH has said that about 2.4 million children have not been vaccinated for measles.
The Health Department continues to encourage parents to get their children vaccinated.
Earlier today, it posted a very blunt video on its Facebook page that says in Filipino: “Measles are contagious, measles are deadly, measles are dangerous. Save your children from measles, vaccinate them against measles.”
It can’t get any clearer than that.
The number of children getting vaccinated has decreased because of the dengue vaccine Dengvaxia controversy, DOH Secretary Francisco Duque said in a statement late last month.
He said that the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), headed by lawyer Persida Acosta, “continue to throw baseless claims and accusations at the Department of Health and myself. As a consequence, we saw a decline in vaccine confidence and a rise in cases of Measles and other vaccine preventable diseases.”
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Acosta has been leading an investigation on deaths that were allegedly caused by the Dengvaxia vaccine. However, Duque and other health experts have said that there is no established link between the vaccine and the deaths.