Health Advisory: Measles Outbreak in Metro Manila

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HEALTH ADVISORY: Measles Outbreak in Metro Manila

The Department of Health (DOH) has declared an outbreak of potentially deadly measles in several districts in at least nine cities in Metro Manila. The outbreak was declared over the weekend in Quiapo, Sampaloc, Tondo, Binondo, Sta. Cruz, Port Area and Sta. Mesa in Manila; Dagat-Dagatan and Bagong Barrio in Caloocan City; Talon 5, Talon 2, and Pamplona Uno in Las Piñas; and Longos and Tonsuya in Malabon.

Outbreaks were also detected in Alabang and Putatan in Muntinlupa; North Bay Boulevard South in Navotas; Moonwalk and Don Bosco in Parañaque; Bagong Tanyag in Taguig, and Ugong in Valenzuela.

What are the symptoms of measles?
Measles, also known as Rubeola, is a highly infectious and/or contagious illness caused by a virus – a viral infection caused by the rubeola virus. Symptoms will appear about 9-11 days after infection, and may include the following:
1. Coryza – runny nose.
2. Dry hacking cough.
3. Conjunctivitis – swollen eyelids, inflamed eyes/watery eyes.
4. Photophobia – sensitivity to light.
5. Fever – this may be mild to severe and can reach 105F (40.6C) for a number of days. Fever may drop, and then rise again when the rash appears.
6. Koplik’s spots – very small grayish-white spots with bluish-white centers in the mouth, insides of cheeks, and throat.
7. Rash – 3 to 4 days after initial symptoms a reddish-brown spotty rash appears. The rash can last for over a week. It usually starts behind the ears and spreads all over the head and neck. After a couple of days it spreads to the rest of the body, including the legs. As the little spots grow many of them will join together.

Complications of measles infection may include:
1. Diarrhea
2. Encephalitis (about 1 out of 1,000 measles cases)
3. Ear infection (otitis media)
4. Pneumonia

Although there is no specific measles treatment, it is important to know what to do. Make sure your child is comfortable, but do not expose him/her to other children while s/he has Measles. The following may relieve symptoms:
1. Paracetamol
2. Bed rest
3. Some children may need Vitamin A supplements. Vitamin A reduces the risk of complications in children.

1. One of the best ways to protect children from measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases is to vaccinate (MMR) them on time. Check your child’s medical records to see if he is up to date on vaccinations.
2. If you think your child has measles, be sure to take precautions before you go to your Pediatrician or to the Emergency Room so that you don’t expose other people. Put a mask over your child’s face and nose and minimize his contact with other children.
3. Children with measles are usually considered to be contagious beginning four days before they develop the measles rash to four days after the rash starts. It is therefore better for them to stay at home during this period.

1. Deparment of Health

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