Filipinos advised: Hand wash with soap frequently to prevent measles

Measles is a highly contagious but preventable disease that is transferred from one person to another through sneezing, coughing, and personal contact. Its symptoms include coughing, a runny nose, red eyes, fever, diarrhea, and a distinctive red rash that spreads all over the body. Its complications, which can be fatal, include ear infections, blindness, swelling of the brain, and pneumonia. In fact, measles is one of the top causes of death among children below the age of 5. 


To those who are not vaccinated or has a very weak immune system, Measles can be fatal.

Following the Department of Health’s declaration of a measles outbreak in the National Capital Region, other areas of Luzon, and Central Eastern Visayas, Filipinos are urged to be vigilant in protecting themselves against measles.

Data from the DOH Epidemiology Bureau showed over 800 measles cases in Metro Manila in the first month of the year. The number of measles cases in the country has been on an uptrend, with 3,646 cases recorded in 2018 compared to just 351 in 2017 – a ten-fold increase.

Because of the seriousness of the disease, individuals should proactively take steps to protect themselves against it. Apart from vaccination, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) recommends:

► Frequent hand washing
► Not touching the eyes, nose, and mouth
► Covering the mouth when coughing or sneezing
► Avoiding close contact and sharing utensils with people who are sick

Hand washing can play a major role in helping prevent the transmission of the measles virus. According to the Global Handwashing Partnership, “Hand washing protection works by removing the tiny droplets containing the measles virus from your hands before they get a chance to infect you or transfer to someone else”.

Hand washing with a trusted soap like Safeguard is able to remove 99.9% of germs. Make sure that as you lather, you thoroughly scrub and cover all parts of the hand with soap. Then rinse your hands with water. With regular hand washing with soap, Safeguard is a cost-effective and easy measure to help prevent the spread of the disease. By taking a proactive and vigilant stance through vaccination, hand washing, and the tips above, the battle against measles can be won. If your child or family members are showing these symptoms, it is also recommended to visit your nearest health center or family doctor.

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