IN JUST the first two months of 2023, the number of reported measles cases in the country has surged to over 130, which is more than 500 percent higher than the same period last year.

Based on the latest Disease Surveillance Report of the Department of Health (DOH), there are already 133 measles cases nationwide from January 1 to February 25.

This is 565 percent higher compared to the 20 cases reported during the same period last year.

Having the highest number of cases reported are the National Capital Region (24), Zamboanga Peninsula (24) and Calabarzon (20).

Seeing the biggest jump in cases are Zamboanga Peninsula (2,300 percent, 1 to 24), Central Luzon (1,300 percent, 1 to 14), and Metro Manila (1,100 percent, 2 to 24).

No deaths due to measles have been reported so far.

Last year, the DOH said all 17 regions in the country are considered to be at high risk for measles outbreak.

According to DOH-Epidemiology Bureau Director Dr Alethea de Guzman, this is mainly because of the low immunization rate seen among children over the recent years.

De Guzman had also noted that measles outbreaks in the country typically occur every four to five years, and the most recent one took place in the months spanning 2018 and 2019. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)