Online users revive 2019 measles outbreak social media card amid mass vaccination drive

February 9, 2021 - 7:03 PM
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Child with measles
A baby presents with symptomatic rashes in San Lazaro Hospital, Manila. (World Health Organization/F. Tanggol)

A social media card that reported the 2019 outbreak of measles in Metro Manila once again gained traction after some online users re-shared it in their barangay’s online community and related it to their local immunization drives.

On Feb. 6, 2019, broadsheet The Philippine STAR reported that the Department of Health confirmed an outbreak of the highly contagious illness.

The health agency said that vaccination is the only solution against it.

The outbreak was also recorded in other regions such as Central Luzon, CALABARZON, Western Visayas and Central Visayas at that time.

Vaccination fears against the viral disease were attributed to the Dengvaxia controversy, as well as the complacency and devolution of the health system.

 

The social media card reporting about the Metro Manila outbreak two years ago is also earning engagements on the platform.

An individual shared the post on the Facebook group “Brgy Pinagsama Ph 1 & 2 Community Service TAGUIG CITY” on Sunday and used it to urge people to get vaccinated in their local health centers and certain areas in their barangay.

“Para sa kaligtasan at kalusugan ng ating mga anak, pabakunahan na po sila. Bakuna lamang ang proteksyon nila sa nakamamatay na sakit na ito. Patuloy pa din po ang ating pagbabakuna sa mga batang edad 9 hanggang 59 na buwan (wala pang 5 taong gulang) sa ating mga health centers at piling lugar sa ating barangay,” the Facebook user said.

Another individual shared the post on the Facebook group “Brgy. Paliparan. 3 Dasmariñas Cavite” on Saturday and said it is one of the reasons they conduct “Supplemental Immunization Activity,” a mass vaccination campaign of the DOH.

“Ito po yung isa sa mga dahilan kung bakit po tayo nagsasagawa ng Supplemental Immunization Activity upang maiwasan ang pagkalat ng sakit na tigdas at ibang nakahahawang sakit gaya ng polio at rubella,” she wrote.

“Kaya hinihikayat po namin ang mga magulang na makiisa at suportahan ang mga programa ng Kagawaran ng Kalusugan sa pamamagitan ng pagpapabakuna sa inyong mga anak na edad 0-59 months old para sa polio at 9-59 months old para sa rubella at tigdas. Kasalukuyan po namin itong isinasagawa sa inyong barangay,” the online user added.

The DOH on February 1 resumed its supplemental immunization drive against rubella, measles, and polio to newborns and children.

Manila city government is among the local government units that have initiated a similar vaccine program.

Measles is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus that is passed through direct contact and through the air, according to the World Health Organization.

It infects the respiratory tract and then spreads throughout the body.

Symptoms include a high fever, runny nose, cough, watery eyes and rash.

There is no specific antiviral treatment for the disease but it can be prevented through vaccination.

The WHO said that in 2020, pockets of measles outbreaks are being reported in the Philippines.

“As of August 2020, there are around 3,500 reported measles cases with 36 deaths. Most of the cases are among children under five years old,” it said.