A measles outbreak was declared by health authorities in the City of Mati after 46 cases were reported as of December 26, 2019.

Of the 46 cases, only 9 have been confirmed so far while the other cases are still being verified thru confirmatory test.

Dr. Ben Hur Catbagan Jr., Mati City Health Officer, convened on Thursday, January 2, 2020, the incident management team that would prevent the further spread of the viral disease.

Based on the data from the CHO, the infected patients are from 4 months old to 44 years old.

Fifteen barangays have so far been affected by the measles outbreak. These are barangays Central, Matiao, Macambol, Badas, Don Martin Marundan, Don Salvador Lopez, Mayo, Lawigan, Sainz, Libudon, Bobon, Tagabakid, Dahican, Sanghay, Don Enrique Lopez.

There are an estimated 50-60,000 population from the said affected barangays.

Dr. Catbagan said that they are now providing preventive and outbreak management services to the affected population in the city.

He said that it is also important that for those afflicted with measles to remain in quarantine for at least two weeks to prevent further spread of the malady.

It was learned that the Department of Health has no available measles vaccine at the moment thus health authorities encouraged the populace to institute measures to prevent the spread of the disease.

Authorities are also planning to set up isolation wards in the hospitals to prevent hospital-acquired infection.

Catbagan said that the lack of manpower due to personnel leave during the holiday season is also one of the problems their team have encountered.

Measles is spread when an infected person talks, breathes, coughs or sneezes tiny particles containing infectious agents into the air. These are called small particle aerosols.

Due to their tiny size, small particle aerosols can travel long distances on air currents and remain suspended in the air for minutes to hours.

These small particle aerosols may be breathed in by another person.

Measles is also spread by contact with hands, tissues and other articles soiled by nose and throat discharges.

The virus is very infectious and droplets in the air may infect people entering a room up to 30 minutes after an infected person has left it.

Symptoms may include fever, fatigue, cough, sore throat, runny nose, sore eyes, photophobia (discomfort when looking at light).

These symptoms usually worsen over 3 to 5 days, then a blotchy rash begins on the head and over the next day or two spreads down the entire body. The rash lasts 4 to 7 days.

Measles illness usually lasts about 10 days. (CIO MATI)

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