DESPITE confirmed measles cases in three provinces, the Department of Health (DOH-6) said it is still looking at the parameters before declaring an outbreak in Western Visayas.
As of February 2018, the DOH has confirmed eight measles cases in the region – four from Antique, three from Iloilo, and one from Negros Occidental. In 2017, health officials recorded one confirmed case only.
The DOH is also validating 23 suspected cases – 10 from Aklan, six from Antique, three Capiz, two Iloilo, and two in Negros Occidental.
Dr. Mary Jane Roches G. Juanico, DOH-6 medical officer III and Child Health team leader, said they are still confirming with DOH central office the threshold for declaring an outbreak.
“So far the cases are isolated, one per municipality. We are now trying to review if there is a need to declare an outbreak. But we are intensifying our monitoring of other cases,” Juanico said.
Juanico clarified that they cannot declare an outbreak in the entire region as it is done per municipality or per province.
“It will depend on the extent of the number of cases,” she said.
The provincial government of Antique has declared a measles outbreak last week.
Juanico advised health workers to immediately report cases of high fever, rashes and other symptoms of measles.
Measles, locally known as tigdas, is a contagious viral disease that is most common in children. Its symptoms include runny nose, red eyes, sore throat, rashes, and tiny white spots in the mouth, among others.