BY: JOANNE NAMNAMA G. PARROCHA
SANTOL, La Union – Two young children have died from a measles outbreak in an outskirt village here as health officials work on containing the spread of the disease.
Dr. Rosario Pamintuan, chief of the Department of Health-Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit head, said 17 residents mostly children in Barangay Tubaday in Sitio Pisnadan were down with measles.
“We have provided treatment on affected children,” Pamintuan said.
Pamintuan said siblings Elio Tagaban, 10, and one-year-old brother OJ died of measles in a hospital on Tuesday and were laid to rest on Wednesday.
Provincial Health Officer II Dr. Hector Be?as said most victims were children ages one to 12 years.
Both Be?as and Pamintuan said the outbreak was caused by the absence of measles vaccine on most children in the village.
“I think it is part of their culture. Parents do not want their kids to be immunized which resulted in (rapid infection),” Be?as said.
Health officials said children who are five months up to 59 months old must be treated with measles vaccine which is provided free in rural health units.
Health experts have advised parents and community elders to get information on how to prevent the spread of the disease.
“They have to know that the disease is infectious and could result to severe complications such as convulsion, pneumonia, blindness and death,” Benas said.
The DOH has deployed nurses in the village to monitor children who were given treatment. (MCA/JNP/PIA-1 La Union)