The Health Services Office City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (HSO -CESU) through its head Dr. Donnabel Tubera – Panes, monitors at least 20 diseases, including those that are vaccine preventable, vector-borne, food and water-borne and zoonotic diseases.
Surveillance is done as an increase or outbreak of these cases, would be borne by the hospitals and the public health system.
For vaccine-preventable diseases, monitoring shows the effectiveness or a low-uptake of vaccines, Panes said.
Measles (tigdas) for one, is a vaccine preventable disease, Panes said. Mothers are advised to visit the nearest health center for their child’s free Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) immunization as the 95% target is still 60%. Panes warned that complications for measles are Pneumonia and Meningitis which need immediate medical attention.
MMR vaccines are given at 9 months with a second dose at one year, but if an outbreak occurs, the vaccines may be given at six months for precautionary measures, Panes added.
The symptoms for Measles are fever, conjunctivitis, coryza and cough and rashes which may occur within 3 days. The patient needs bed rest, liquids and should avoid crowds to prevent the illness from spreading. Complications however may occur, thus the need to preempt the illness through complete vaccination for MMR at the health centers. By JGF with reports from HSO-CESU