Measles outbreak is packing hospitals and forcing them to turn away patients

On February 6 the Department of Health confirmed an outbreak of measles in the National Capital Region (NCR) and Central Luzon area. The most number of cases have been in Manila, Caloocan, Marikina, Pasig, Navotas, Parañaque, Taguig, Pasay and Malabon. Other regions such as the Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Cordillera Administrative Region, and the Caraga Region are also under “tight watch” by the DOH in case of a measles outbreak.

According to Health Secretary Francisco Duque there has been a 550% increase of measles cases this 2019 as compared to the same time period in 2018. From January 1 to February 6 of 2018 there had only been 20 recorded cases of measles in NCR. This year there are already 196 cases, with at least 55 of those already resulting in death. In the whole of Central Luzon, the DOH records 442 suspected cases of measles.

But what do these numbers actually signify? A Twitter thread from a Junior Medical Intern at San Lazaro Hospital illustrates the reality (and horror) of this measles outbreak. The whole thread reads:

So I was assigned at the ER Triage of San Lazaro Hospital last night. 95% of the patients who came in at the ER were Pedia patients with measles. Andddd I came to this realization…

So as you all know, San Lazaro Hospital is an Infectious Disease Hospital. Pedia wards have an isolation room for Measles, Dengue, Leptospirosis, Diphtheria, Tetanus etc. But due to the Measles outbreak today, all wards/isolation rooms are occupied, including the hallway, wherein 4 Pedia patients with measles share 1 bed. Could you imagine??






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