DOH Bicol calls LGUs to boost measles immunization

Department of Health
Department of Health
Health authorities in Bicol urged local government health unit to prioritize children aged 6 months to less than 3 years old, especially among localities with laboratory-confirmed cases of measles, starting this date until Feb. 3, 2014.

This, following surveillance data from the National Epidemiology Center (NEC) show that most confirmed measles cases in 2013 were those aged 3 years old and below and the Department of Health has recommended prioritizing for Outbreak Response Immunization (ORI) among those in the age group, according to Department of Health Bicol regional director Dr. Gloria Balboa

The measure, according to Balboa, is to control spread of measles virus circulation and minimizing bigger outbreak.

DOH Bicol has also reiterated appeal to parents to bring their children to health centers until Feb. 3 in line with measles catch-up vaccination campaign.

The health agency has earlier urged local government units across Bicol to intensify and fast track active immunization drive to prevent infection and spread of diseases, particularly measles that has stricken mostly infants and children already.

Balboa meanwhile informed the same officials pertaining to mass national immunization campaign to be conducted by DOH tentatively set in September 2014.

“We also has our full support to every endeavor of everyone in helping control measles virus transmission,” she noted.

Confirmed measles cases in 2013 were Camalig (1), Daraga (2) and Legaspi City (3) in Albay; Canaman (1), Magarao (1), and Pili (1) in Camarines Sur; Castilla (4), Pilar (1) and Sorsogon City (1) in Sorsogon Province and Palanas Masbate (1).

DOH Bicol earlier expressed appreciation on the anti-measles campaign of the DepEd among public school children as it will help prevent the possible spread of the virus.

DepEd earlier issued a memorandum directing school heads to send home students who exhibit “flu-like symptoms and also asked them to disseminate information about measles, immunization and coordinate with local government health units for the “complete vaccination of children.”

DOH further reminded the public that as the virus is spread through droplets by coughing, sneezing or close personal, direct contact with infected nasal or throat secretions, sending home students who exhibit the early signs and symptoms of measles would surely help prevent its further transmission.
Furthermore, the virus remains active and contagious in the air or on infected surfaces for up to two hours. It can be transmitted by an infected person from four days prior to the onset of the rash and up to four days after the rash erupts. (MAL/DOH5/PIA5/Albay)