Citywide mass immunization vs measles starts today PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 19 February 2018 17:01

The City Health Office in partnership with the Department of Health will launch today, February 19, a citywide mass immunization against measles locally known as ‘sarampion’ amidst the declaration of a measles outbreak in Zamboanga City.

The activity will be a house-to-house campaign in all the city’s 98 barangays targeting children with ages 6 months to 59 months or 5 years old.  It will run until March 23.

CHO records show that the eligible population for the vaccination reaches 121,974.

The declaration of the measles outbreak is pursuant to Executive Order BC 333-2018 issued February 9 per recommendation of the City Health Office. The EO directs the CHO through Officer-in-charge Dr. Dulce Amor Miravite to “institute, undertake and implement preventive and proactive measures to effectively address” the outbreak.

The CHO has recorded 101 suspected measles cases during the first four months of the year representing a 1,343% increase in the number of cases as compared to the same period last year. The number of cases is above the outbreak threshold level, thus, the declaration.

Dr. Miravite said 49% of those with suspected measles were males while 51% were females. At least 34 of the 101 cases belong to the 1-5 years age group. The highest proportion of cases has no history of immunization, it was noted.

Meales is a serious respiratory disease that causes rashes and fever and is very contagious, and in rare cases, can be deadly. Signs and symptoms of the disease include fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes, rash of tiny, red spots that start at the head and spread to the rest of the body.

At risk are unvaccinated young children, pregnant women and any non-immunized person (who has not been vaccinated or was vaccinated but did not develop immunity) can become infected.

Measles are spread through coughing, sneezing, close personal contact and direct contact with infected nasal or throat secretions. (Sheila Covarrubias)