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Davao City, Philippines

Measles outbreak in Mati kills two kids

August 24, 2019 - Saturday 5:08 PM by Ruth Palo

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DAVAO CITY -- Two children were reported to have died of measles as an outbreak of the disease hit a barangay in Mati City, Davao Oriental.

A report from the City Health Office in Mati City showed that 24 individuals have contracted the highly contagious viral disease in Purok Gmelina in Barangay Don Salvador Lopez.

The city’s information officer, Ben Tesiorna, said the measles infection in the barangay started on the fourth week of July this year.

Tesiorna said of the 24 cases, only two were brought to a hospital for treatment as the 22 others are members of a religious group which is said to be against seeking medical treatment of any kind.

The parents of the two fatalities, he said, were members of the religious group. Both victims were one year old.

Based on the report released by the city’s health office, there are about 5,000 individuals living in the barangay.

Around 483 are residing in Purok Gmelina where about 78 percent of the residents belong to the said religious group. 

Tesiorna said City Health Office personnel immediately conducted measles immunization in the barangay on Friday, August 23, but none of the members of the religious group submitted themselves for immunization or treatment.

Tesiorna assured the people of Mati that health authorities continue to monitor the affected area to prevent the infection from spreading.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease transmitted by respiratory droplets and direct contact.

The records of the Department of Health (DOH) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) showed that as of December 2018, there were more than 20,000 reported measles cases in the Philippines, a 500 percent increase over the previous year.