CITY OF MALOLOS – In an aim to prevent the widespread of measles in the province, the Provincial Government of Bulacan through the Provincial Health Office-Public Health has started implementing its intensified “Oplan: Ligtas Tigdas sa Bulacan” this February 2019.
Due to the sudden rise of measles cases in the country, Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado encourages the Bulakenyos to have vaccination against the said disease.
“Huwag tayong matakot na pabakunahan ang ating mga anak, mga apo, sapagkat ito pa rin ang pinakamabisang paraan ng paglaban sa mga sakit hindi lang sa tigdas, marami pa tulad ng polio, pertussis, pulmonya at iba pa. Wala pong dapat mamatay dahil dito dahil kaya natin itong labanan,” Alvarado said.
The said Oplan is composed of information dissemination on how to avoid having measles; consultation in health centers and hospitals when symptoms of measles were experienced; mass vaccination against measles in every barangay; continuous surveillance of vaccine preventable diseases and reporting to concerned authorities; and search and bring all six to 59 months old to health centers for their proper and corresponding vaccinations.
According to the Provincial Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (PESU), the province has reported 217 suspected measles cases from January 1-26, 2019, which is 1,708 percent higher than last year’s 12 reported cases during the same period. Among these, 63 percent were recorded from ages five years old and below.
The PESU also noted three measles related death cases from the towns of San Miguel, Bocaue and City of Meycauayan.
Based on the records, City of San Jose del Monte has the highest measles cases with 42 followed by Bocaue with 29 and Baliwag with 23.
Prior to this, since there has been a noticeable increase in measles cases in the province starting August 2018, the PGB in partnership with the Department of Health conducted the ‘Ligtas Tigdas Plus’ wherein they vaccinated 17,030 children ages six months to five years old from October to December last year.
Dr. Jocelyn Gomez, Public Health Officer, said that despite their efforts, measles cases continue to increase due to low vaccination coverage brought about by the fear from Dengvaxia issue.
“Sa ngayon may mahigit pang 42,000 na mga batang edad anim na buwan hanggang magli-limang taong gulang ang hindi pa kumpleto ang bakuna kasama ang tigdas,” Gomez said.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is transmitted via droplets from the nose, mouth or throat of infected persons. Initial symptoms, which usually appear 10–12 days after infection, include high fever, a runny nose, bloodshot eyes, and tiny white spots on the inside of the mouth. Several days later, a rash develops, starting on the face and upper neck and gradually spreading downwards.