MANILA, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine Department of Health (DOH) warned Wednesday the public, particularly those in Philippine capital city of Metro Manila, of the rapid increase of measles cases.
DOH-National Capital Region (NCR) Director Eduardo Janairo issued the warning after the Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit reported a total of 179 confirmed measles cases from Jan. 1 to Dec. 10, 2013.
The figure is 616 percent higher compared to the same period last year when only 25 cases were recorded. According to the report, ages of cases ranged from one month to 37 years, and most of those affected were the 1-4 years age-group. Two deaths were reported, both of whom in Metro Manila, the report said.
"Everyone should take necessary precaution because measles is a severe disease that causes complications like ear infections, pneumonia and even inflammation of the brain," Janairo said.
It is also highly contagious and can be spread easily through cough and sneeze and direct contact with affected persons through nose or mouth secretions, he explained.
"If you believe you are exposed to someone with measles, you should observe for measles symptoms to appear after nine days. Some person can be affected immediately before the rash appears four days after being exposed," he added.