Measles cases up 200% this year in the Philippines


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Philippine health officials reported a 203 percent increase in measles cases in 2022. From January 1 to October 8, 467 cumulative measles cases were reported.

measles / CDC

This compares with 154 cases reported during the same period in 2021.

The regions reporting the most measles cases include Calabarzon (84), Central Visayas (63) and Metro Manila (53).

One death was recorded in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

Other vaccine-preventable diseases where the country has reported increases include diphtheria (53 cases/16 deaths in 2022 vs 31 cases/10 deaths in 2021; rubella (43 cases in 2022 vs 31 cases in 2021 and tetanus) 572 cases / 152 deaths in 2022 compared to 439 cases / 104 deaths in 2021).

Measles is a highly contagious virus that spreads through the air by direct contact with infectious droplets or by aerial spread when an infected person breathes, coughs, or sneezes. The measles virus can survive up to two hours in the airspace after an infected person leaves the area.

People can spread measles for up to four days before and four days after the rash appears.

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Signs and symptoms of measles include maculopapular rash, high fever, cough, runny nose, or red, watery eyes.

Measles can be severe in all age groups and can lead to serious complications, such as pneumonia (inflammation of the lungs) and death. Several groups are more likely to experience complications from measles, including children younger than five years old, adults over 20 years old, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems, such as leukemia or HIV infection.

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