Bicol health officials continue fight vs. measles, dengue

LEGAZPI CITY -- Health officials in Bicol are continuously finding ways to address measles and dengue cases that continue to rise to alarming levels, prompting the Department of Health (DOH) office in the region to sustain its “red flag” health alert status.

DOH data indicated that during the first semester of this year, measles cases rose to an unprecedented rate of 1,401 percent as compared to the same period last year.

Dr. Ernie Vera, acting DOH regional director, said Tuesday that 1,261 cases, all involving children, were reported from January to June 2019. Fifteen of the victims succumbed to the disease.

There were only 84 measles cases reported during the first semester of last year.

This year, Camarines Sur has the highest number of cases with 406, followed by Albay – 373; Sorsogon – 243; Masbate – 162; Camarines Norte – 59; and Catanduanes – 17. One case is a transient coming from an undisclosed area, the report said.

Meanwhile, dengue has claimed the lives of 22 people in Bicol this year, Vera said.

Camarines Sur has the highest number of cases with 876, followed by Albay with 321; Sorsogon – 291; Masbate -- 131; Camarines Norte -- 126; Catanduanes – 81; and transients - 2.(by Mar Serrano)