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CHO extends measles vaccination

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The City Health Office has extended its measles outbreak immunization program as it fell short by more than 2,000 children to immunize to meet its 95% target.

Dr. Ivy Iturralde, chief of the Epidemiology Surveillance Unit, told the press briefing Monday that the immunization program would have ended last March 23, but Department of Health had recommended it extended until 95% of the targeted children are immunized for measles.

She said a total of 74,462 children or 66% were covered by the immunization program conducted from January to March 28, this year. But if the Sept-December 2017 figures will be included, the total coverage would reach 92,054 or 80%, still below the 95% target. Hence, the extension.

“We have not totally controlled the outbreak yet due to the increasing suspected measles cases, but there has been no additional death so far,” Dr. Iturralde said, stressing that the measles mortality remains 5 cases, of which 3 were not eligible yet for vaccination and 2 had no history of immunization.

She also said 20 confirmed or positive cases of measles were reported in the following barangays: Calarian-3, Putik-2, Sta. Maria-2, and 1 case each in Camino Nuevo, Canelar, Cawit, Curuan, Manalipa, Mercedes, Pasobolong, San Roque, Sangali, Sinubong, Tigtabon and Tugbungan.

Barangays with suspected measles cases were Sangali-3, Calarian-25, Mercedes-18, Sta. Catalina-15, Arena Blanco-12, Sta. Maria-11, Tumaga-11, Guiwan-10, Putik-10, Tugbungan-8, San Roque-8, Tetuan-8, Zambowood-7, Recodo-7, Divisoria-6, and Mampang-6.

The samples of those suspected cases were sent to RITM (Research Institute for Tropical Medicine) in Manila for confirmatory test.

“We are still on the epidemic threshold or outbreak level with 331 cases from Jan-March 28,” Dr. Iturralde said.-(Vic Larato)




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