The Bacolod City Health Office is intensifying its surveillance of measles cases in Bacolod City following an outbreak of the contagious disease nationwide with Negros Occidental recording the highest number of cases in Western Visayas.
Dr. Grace Tan, head of Environmental Sanitation Division of the CHO, yesterday said they started their measles immunization activity last week of October to November. The CHO conducted a house-to-house campaign for the target group who are less than 5-years-old and they have extended the immunization activity up to December, she said.
Tan also said that after they have conducted school-based immunization, they will be mapping out areas of those who have not been vaccinated and those who do not yet have complete immunization. They are also trying to convince those who have not been immunized to get vaccinated.
She said Mansilingan has the highest number of cases with six recorded cases while Handumanan recorded the highest last year with 31 cases, because of the measles outbreak at the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology in Handumanan, aside from measles cases in the barangay.
The CHO has recorded 41 suspected cases of measles in Bacolod from January up to the present.
Tan said they need to immunize their target population and intensify their surveillance to prevent the spread of the infection.
From the target group last year, they still have 35 percent of children to immunize, or about 6,000 children less than 5-years-old. In the special immunization activity, their target is 71 percent but they still have about 40,000 to immunize, she said.
Tan is urging parents to have their children immunized to prevent the spread of the disease and to protect them.
She assured them that the measles vaccine is different from the Dengvaxia vaccine and has been used for 10 to 15 years already.
If they do not want their children immunized in health centers, they can bring them to private medical practitioners, Tan said.
They should listen to reports from reliable sources, like doctors, and not rely on their neighbors or other people who are not sure of their facts, she said, referring to parents who do not want their children vaccinated because of the Dengvaxia issue.*
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