By Zaldy Comanda
BAGUIO CITY – The Department of Health (DOH) reported an over 1,481 percent increase in measles cases in the Cordillera region for the first four months of this year.
DOH recorded 680 measles cases compared to the 43 cases during the same period last year.
Senior Health Program Officer Karen Lonogan, of the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU), said there was three measles-related death this year compared to the zero deaths last year, a 300 percent jump.
Benguet had the highest number of cases with 267, followed by Baguio City with 250; Apayao, 61; Abra, 46 cases; Ifugao, 22; Mountain Province, 19, and Kalinga, 15.
Last year, Apayao had the highest number of measles cases with 18, followed by Benguet and Ifugao with 6 cases each, Benguet with 5, Mountain Province with 4, Abra with 3 and Kalinga with 1.
Lonogan said all the measles-related deaths were from Benguet and that they were also below the age of children that are supposed to be vaccinated for the illness.
Of the reported cases, 354 were said to be individuals that were unvaccinated, 268 individuals were said to be vaccinated while 58 persons were either vaccinated or unvaccinated.
Health authorities had recently launched a measles immunization drive for children aged 6 months to 12 years old.