Filipinos are urged to be vigilant in protecting themselves against measles, following the Department of Health’s declaration of a measles outbreak in the National Capital Region, other areas of Luzon, and Central Eastern Visayas .
Data from the DOH Epidemiology Bureau showed over 800 measles cases in Metro Manila in the first month of the year. The number of measles cases in the country has been on an uptrend, with 3,646 cases recorded in 2018 compared to just 351 in 2017 – a ten-fold increase.
Measles is a highly contagious but preventable disease that is transferred from one person to another through sneezing, coughing, and personal contact. Its symptoms include coughing, a runny nose, red eyes, fever, diarrhea, and a distinctive red rash that spreads all over the body. Its complications, which can be fatal, include ear infections, blindness, swelling of the brain, and pneumonia. In fact, measles is one of the top causes of death among children below the age of 5.
Because of the seriousness of the disease, individuals should proactively take steps to protect themselves against it. Apart from vaccination, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) recommends:
- Frequent handwashing
- Not touching the eyes, nose, and mouth
- Covering the mouth when coughing or sneezing
- Avoiding close contact and sharing utensils with people who are sick
Handwashing can play a major role in helping prevent the transmission of the measles virus. According to the Global Handwashing Partnership, “Handwashing protection works by removing the tiny droplets containing the measles virus from your hands before they get a chance to infect you or transfer to someone else”.
Handwashing with a trusted soap like Safeguard is able to remove 99.9% of germs. Make sure that as you lather, you thoroughly scrub and cover all parts of the hand with soap. Then rinse your hands with water. With regular handwashing with soap,
Safeguard is a cost-effective and easy measure to help prevent the spread of the disease.By taking a proactive and vigilant stance through vaccination,handwashing, and the tips above, the battle against measles can be won. If your child or family members are showing these symptoms, it is also recommended to visit your nearest health center or family doctor.