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10 Feb 2019 | 03:20 AM UTC

Philippines: Measles outbreak reported in Manila /update 1

Measles outbreak continues in Metro Manila and elsewhere in Luzon and Visayas as of January 2019



According to the Philippine Department of Health, some 196 measles cases were recorded in Metro Manila over the first three weeks of January. The number of reported cases is nearly ten times the number reported over the same period in 2018. First declared in Metro Manila and Central Luzon, the measles outbreak is also ongoing in Calabarzon region (Luzon), Western Visayas region, and Central Visayas region. Further spread of the disease is to be expected in the affected regions over the coming weeks.  


Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that typically affects mostly children. It is transmitted via droplets from the nose, mouth, or throat of infected persons. The disease remains one of the leading causes of death among young children globally, despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine.

Symptoms of measles are usually a high fever, which begins approximately ten to 12 days after exposure to the virus and lasts four to seven days. A runny nose, a cough, red and watery eyes, and small white spots inside the cheeks can develop in the initial stage. After several days, a rash erupts, usually on the face and upper neck. Over about three days, the rash spreads, eventually reaching the hands and feet. The rash lasts for five to six days and then fades. On average, the rash occurs 14 days after exposure to the virus (within a range of seven to 18 days).


Individuals in or planning travel to the Philippines are advised to ensure their measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccinations are up to date and to contact their doctor with any questions or concerns. Anyone experiencing the abovementioned symptoms is urged to seek immediate medical attention.

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