Good personal hygiene, coughing and sneezing etiquette, keeping the environment clean, and avoiding contact with measles-affected patients can stop the spread of the highly contagious infectious disease, the Department of Health-Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD) reminded residents in the MIMAROPA region as it further steps up its campaign on anti-measles basic control measures.

DOH-CHD MIMAROPA OIC regional director Dr. Mario Baquilod said Tuesday in a press statement that the public is advised to practice basic infection and control measures, such as “frequent handwashing and polite behavior when coughing and sneezing to avoid contracting the disease.

“Measles is a highly contagious disease that can cause complications which may lead to death. But just like any virus, we can prevent its spread by practicing good personal hygiene, such as washing hands regularly, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, ensuring proper disposal of used tissues, not sharing personal items, and avoiding close contact with patients with measles,” Baquilod said in the statement.

Baquilod’s reminder came after announcing that to date, an estimated 41,878 children between six to 59 months have already been vaccinated against measles in the MIMAROPA provinces from February 13-26, 2019.

Over 15,000 of the total period were from Oriental Mindoro, which also has the most number of measles cases.

Data presented by the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU) said the total number of cases has reached 667 cases with nine deaths as of January 1 to March 3, 2019.

It is 4,346.67 percent higher compared to the 15 cases recorded in the region in the same period in 2018.

The statement said most cases were recorded in Oriental Mindoro with 489 including six deaths, Palawan with 85 and two deaths, Occidental Mindoro with 42, Marinduque with 20, and Romblon with 30 and one death.

“While we are glad that more children are getting vaccinated, we will remain vigilant and ensure continuity in providing intervention to mitigate the measles outbreak in the region with the support of the local government units and other stakeholders,” Baquilod was further quoted in saying.

He said measles fast lanes and isolation rooms have already been established in hospitals throughout MIMAROPA intended for patients with suspected cases.

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has been with Palawan News since January 2019. She is its managing editor, overseeing and coordinating day-to-day editorial activities. Her writing interests are politics and governance, health, defense, investigative journalism, civic journalism, and the environment.