The Department of Health (DoH) has alerted residents of Metro Manila to an increased number of measles cases in 2013. Two measles deaths have been reported and a rise in cases has been identified in at least five cities in the National Capital Region.
DoH Metro Manila records show a rapid increase in measles cases in Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, Caloocan, Manila, and Parañaque. The Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit has recorded 179 confirmed measles cases from 1 January to 10 December 2013. This compares to 25 cases in the same time period of 2012.
Cases range from one month to 37 years-of-age, most of those affected are between one to 4-years-old, and most are male. Parents are being urged to ensure that their children are vaccinated against measles.
Advice for Travellers
It should be confirmed that children have received their recommended doses of MMR at 12-15 months of age and again pre-school around 3 years 6 months, while unimmunised adults who have not had the disease themselves may consider vaccination if thought to be at risk. Two doses of MMR vaccine are required to give adequate protection.