Mayor Isidro Zayco yesterday declared a measles outbreak in Kabankalan City and a massive vaccination campaign is underway.
Zayco said he declared the outbreak after the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine confirmed that three out of four patients from Barangay Camugao in Kabankalan were positive for measles.
The mayor pointed out that under theDepartment of Health protocol, only one case of measles is needed to declare an outbreak.
An outbreak response immunization program is underway.
Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Ernell Tumimbang, said a non-selective measles vaccinationdrive will be donethat will cover children from 9 months old to five years old, and even those previously immunized.
Six to 9 months old babies also need to be immunized, he said.
Zayco said Kabankalan has enough vaccines for the mass vaccination drive, and will also get assistance from the Provincial Health Office.
He urged parentsto ensure that their children are immunized to protect them from measles.
Measles is one of the leading causes of death among young children even though a safe and cost-effective vaccine is available, the World Health Organization said.
Measles is a highly contagious, serious disease caused by a virus, it said.
It is caused by a virus in the paramyxovirus family and it is normally passed through direct contact and through the air, WHO said.
The virus infects the respiratory tract, then spreads throughout the body.
The first sign of measles is usually a high fever, that begins about 10 to 12 days after exposure to the virus, and lasts 4 to 7 days, WHO said.
A runny nose, a cough, red and watery eyes, and small white spots inside the cheeks can develop in the initial stage. After several days, a rash erupts, usually on the face and upper neck, it said.
After about 3 days, the rash spreads, eventually reaching the hands and feet. The rash lasts for 5 to 6 days, and then fades. On average, the rash occurs 14 days after exposure to the virus within a range of 7 to 18 days, WHO added.*CPG
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