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Monday, 14 April 2014

23 Singaporeans hit by measles outbreak in the Philippines

A MEASLES outbreak in the Philippines has infected 23 Singaporeans who had travelled there since January, said an alert from the Ministry of Health (MOH).

They are among 80 people here have come down with measles so far this year. This is high, given that the annual numbers were 46 and 38 respectively for the past two years.

But the risk of an outbreak here is low, said the MOH, as most people are vaccinated against this highly contagious disease.

It said that half the people who were infected here this year were young children who had missed their vaccination.

Symptoms of measles include a rash, cough, runny nose, red eyes and fever. About a third of people with measles suffer from complications such as pneumonia, ear infection that can lead to loss of hearing, and inflammation of the brain lining that could cause convulsions.

Complications are more common in children under five years and in adults.

The Philippine Department of Health reported 15,683 suspected cases of measles from Jan 1 to Feb 15 this year. Of these, 3,434 were confirmed, and 23 deaths were reported. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network

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