Philippines: Measles Outbreak - Feb 2019Ongoing
On 6 February 2019, the Department of Health (DOH) declared a “measles outbreak” in the National Capital Region (NCR) and Region 3 (Central Luzon). On the 7 February 2019, DOH announced that the measles outbreak had spread to more areas in Luzon and Visayas in CALABARZON, Region 6 (Western Visayas) and Region 7 (Central Visayas). Unconfirmed reports from DOH report around 72 deaths among more than 2,000 cases of measles nationwide. While according to San Lazaro Hospital Epidemiology Department (Special National Hospital Medical Center for Infectious Diseases with a 500-bed capacity), there are 1,187 reported suspected measles cases in Metro Manila since January 2019, with 55 deaths. On 5 February 2019, at least 248 children and 21 adults were being treated for measles in the hospital. Most of the confirmed deaths are children aged three months to four years old. (IFRC, 8 Feb 2019)
Cities in NCR with the most cases are: Manila, Caloocan, Marikina, Pasig, Navotas, Parañaque, Taguig, Pasay, and Malabon. (IFRC, 12 Feb 2019)
From 1 January to 13 February, the DOH reported over 4,300 confirmed measles cases. Severe complications from measles have also claimed the lives of 70 people, 1 in 3 of which were children younger than nine months old. More than 80 per cent of 2.6 million unvaccinated children are in the seven regions which have declared outbreaks - Regions III, IVA, IVB, VI, VII, VIII, and the National Capital Region. DOH activated its Incident Command System to implement the nationwide vaccination campaign which will target 95% of the estimated 2.6 million unvaccinated children under 5 years. (OCHA, 15 Feb 2019)
Between 1 January and 18 February 2019, 9,267 measles cases including 146 deaths were officially reported through the routine surveillance system from the Philippines Department of Health (DoH): a 266% increase with the same time period in 2018. (UNICEF/WHO, 20 Feb 2019)
The Department of Health is working with Government agencies in responding to the outbreak and conducting a nationwide immunization campaign. WHO and UNICEF are working closely with the Department of Health to provided technical and funding support to the national programme in the planning, implementation, and monitoring of response activities to contain the outbreak. At the request of the Department of Health, UNICEF is providing tents and is mobilizing its NGO network to support the vaccination campaign. (OCHA, 18 Feb 2019)
Since declaring a measles outbreak on 6 February, the number of cases continues to surge and the Department of Health has reported 12,736 cases of measles and 203 deaths nation-wide as of 24 February. According to the second joint situation report issued by the WHO and UNICEF, the overall risk is assessed as high due to the large number of cases, chronicly low routine immunisation coverage, and increased vaccination hesitancy. Fifty-seven per cent of measles cases are children under five years, with over 80 per cent of cases citing children are not vaccinated. (OCHA, 25 Feb 2019)
The number of cases and deaths due to an outbreak of measles continues to rise. As of 2 March, 16,349 measles cases including 261 deaths were reported by the Department of Health (DOH). There are a number of reports of cases from the Philippines in neighboring countries. The Philippines Government has launched a large-scale information campaign urging parents to have their children vaccinated. The DOH is organising house-to-house vaccinations nationwide, with a strategy to vaccinate all children under five. The Philippine Red Cross has mobilized volunteers to support the immunization campaign and has set up tents in hospitals dedicated to responding to the measles outbreak. (OCHA, 4 Mar 2019)
As of 11 March 2019, a total of 18,553 cases of measles including 280 deaths were reported in 17 Regions. Most of the cases were from NCR (3,850), CALABARZON (4,807), Region III (2,840), Region VI (987) and Region X (876). Ages of cases ranged from less than one month to 88 years old. Majority of the cases were not vaccinated. (Govt. of Philippines, 11 Mar 2019)
Between 1 January and 14 March 2019, 21,396 measles cases including 315 deaths were officially reported through the routine surveillance system from the DoH: a 384% increase with the same time period in 2018. With a median age of 3 years old, 54% of measles cases are under 5 years of age. The majority of measles cases are male (53%). As of 14 March 2019, 60% of cases have no documented vaccination status. DoH estimates that 2% of cases had been previously vaccinated with one or 2 doses. The vaccination status of the remainder of cases is unknown. (UNICEF & WHO, 19 Mar 2019)
Maps & Infographics
Most read reports
- IFRC: Millions of children at risk as death toll rises in Philippines measles outbreak. 14 Mar 2019
- UN DPI: Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, 22 March 2019 - Philippines. 22 Mar 2019
- UNICEF: UNICEF-WHO Philippines: Measles Outbreak, Situation Report 6, 19 March 2019. 19 Mar 2019
- IFRC: Philippines: Deadly measles outbreak claiming lives of children under five. 7 Mar 2019
- UNICEF: Alarming global surge of measles cases a growing threat to children – UNICEF. 1 Mar 2019
Description of the disaster
The Department of Health (DOH) today points to vaccine hesitancy as one of the reasons for the recent measles outbreak in some regions of the country.
Validated data from different regions of the country by the Epidemiology Bureau of DoH revealed that from 1 January to 9 February this year, a total of 4,302 measles cases have been reported, with 70 deaths.
MANILA, 8 February 2019 – UNICEF is alarmed at the recent reports of various occurrences of measles outbreak across the Philippines. Reported incidences of death and illnesses in children from the vaccine-preventable disease is unacceptable. Recent reports from the DOH and the World Health Organization (WHO) show there are more than 20,000 reported measles cases in the country as of December 2018, a 500 per cent increase compared to last year.
Nearly 500 people were temporarily displaced in Kyaukme Township of Shan State following fighting between the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA) and the Shan State Progressive Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA) on 9 February. The displaced people are staying in two locations in Kyaukme Town where they have received initial assistance including food and other relief items provided by the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) and local community. However, blankets, warm clothes and sleeping mats are urgently needed.
During 2018, a total of 21,812 measles cases were reported in the Philippines: a 376% increase with 2017. With a Case Fatality Rate of 0.93%, 202 people died of the disease in 2018, most of them children.
Between 1 and 9 February 2019, an additional 4,302 measles cases including 70 deaths were officially reported through the routine surveillance system from the Philippines Department of Health (DoH): a 122% increase with the same time period in 2018 (see Table 1).
A. Situation Overview:
Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. It is transferred from person-to-person by sneezing, coughing, and close personal contact. Its signs and symptoms include cough, runny nose, red eyes/conjunctivitis, fever, skin rashes lasting for more than three (3) days.
FOLLOWING the midnight visit of Chairman Richard Gordon to the measles patients confined in San Lazaro Hospital in Manila, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) is closely coordinating with the Department of Health (DOH) in providing assistance relevant to the surge of patients due to the measles outbreak.
Gordon said PRC is ready to provide medical interventions, including the establishment of a 100-bed emergency medical unit (EMU) and welfare desks at San Lazaro Hospital (SLH).
This bulletin is being issued for information only and reflects the current situation and details available at this time. The Philippine Red Cross, with the support of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), has determined that external assistance is not required, and is therefore not seeking funding or other assistance from donors at this time.
The Department of Health (DOH) raised today the red flag for measles in other regions of Luzon, Central and Eastern Visayas aside from yesterday’s declaration in the National Capital Region.
The Department of Health (DOH) today declared a measles outbreak at the National Capital Region (NCR).
Based on data presented by the DOH Epidemiology Bureau, the number of measles cases at the National Capital Region from 1 to 19 January 2019 has reached 196 cases as compared to 20 cases reported in the said region at the same time period in 2018. For the whole year of 2018, NCR registered 3, 646 measles cases as to against 351 cases in 2017.