DAVAO CITY, Philippines — (UPDATED) The City Health Office (CHO) here declared on Monday, January 22, a measles outbreak with hundreds of people reported to be infected of the virus in a span of three months.

CHO recorded a total of 222 cases of measles from November 2017 to January 12 this year, 68 of which were in January alone.

But on Tuesday, January 23, CHO head Josephine Villafuerte, the head of CHO, clarified that only 16 out of 222 cases of measles from November 2017 to January 12 this year recorded tested positive for having measles after conducting series of tests.

The remaining 206 “suspected” cases, which are not all residents of Davao but were hospitalized in the city, are still being monitored as they showed signs of fever, rashes and eye-redness but are yet to be confirmed through blood test.

She said that there is a “need to declare an outbreak in the city as the disease is a product of elimination where a single case of measles could infect tens to hundreds of others as a highly infectious nature of the virus”.

The CHO has been conducting service-free outbreak response immunization (ORI) activities in several barangays for children 6-59 months, educational drive on measles awareness and has advised establishments for its employees not to report and seek medical attention if it showed signs and symptoms of the said disease.

Signs and symptoms of measles infection include high fever, coughs, colds, sore throats aches, skin rashes, eye redness, and white spots lining on the cheeks, which are felt two weeks after the exposure to the virus. (davaotoday.com)

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