Measles, rubella cases now 153% up — DoH

The number of measles and rubella cases since 1 January this year posted a huge 152.8 percent increase compared to the same period last year.

Recent data from the Department of Health showed the country reported a total of 450 cases from 1 January to 17 September, which is higher by 272 than the same period last year’s figure of 178.

Most of the reported cases of measles and rubella were from Calabarzon at 70, followed by Easter Visayas, and National Capital Region, with 70 and 61 cases, respectively.

From 21 August to 17 September 2022 alone, a total of 68 measles and rubella cases were reported, most of which were from Calabarzon with 16 cases or 24 percent of the total 450 cases.

A total of five regions — Calabarzon, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, and Soccsksargen — posted an increase during the recent four morbidity weeks.

Two deaths due to viral respiratory illness were reported in August and September.

The country’s present case fatality rate for measles and rubella remains at 0.4 percent.

Measles and rubella are both highly-contagious diseases caused by a virus. Both diseases can cause a total-body skin rash and flu-like symptoms. It can also cause death due to several complications in children, particularly those with the unvaccinated and who have a weak immune system.

The DoH also reported that five out of 17 regions in the country such as Cagayan Valley, Calabarzon, Bicol Region and NCR have surpassed the measles epidemic threshold levels.


The report came a day after the agency warned the public about the potential measles outbreak in the early part of 2023 should the immunization rate continue to drop.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said data showed at least three million children in the country are now susceptible to the viral respiratory illness.

Vergeire added that fully-immunized child coverage in the country is at 62.9 percent, still far from the target of 95 percent.

She attributed the low jab uptake to the Covid-19 pandemic, which she said “restricted” many parents to get their children inoculated against other diseases.

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