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DOH to prevent Measles Outbreak

01262014The Philippines will launch a nationwide campaign on measles prevention among children, after measles outbreaks took place in several areas in Metro Manila, a senior government official announced.

In the campaign, planned in September last year, roughly 13 million children aged up to 5 years old will be given measles vaccination, Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Enrique Ona said.

“The supplemental immunization activity is aimed at the children who missed their routine vaccine doses since 2011,” he said.

In recent weeks, health centers in Metro Manila have been giving first dose of measles vaccines to children aged 9 to 11 months, while children aged 12 to 23 months have been inoculated with their second dose.

This is part of the DOH’s heightened campaign, in coordination with local government units (LGUs), to prevent the spread of measles in the National Capital Region, Ona said.

The DOH has implemented vaccination after Metro Manila Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit reported there were 233 confirmed measles cases, including three deaths, from Jan. 1 to Dec. 14 last year. The number of measles cases has increased since then.

Measles is caused by a virus that easily spreads through coughing and sneezing and even through breathing especially in enclosed areas where there are affected patients.

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