CLOSE TO 4K CORDILLERA KIDS VACCINATED VS. JAPANESE ENCEPHALITIS
JAPANESE ENCEPHALITIS VACCINATION. Children below five years old are vaccinated against Japanese encephalitis during the launching of the “Oplan Culex” at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center on February 14. (Photo courtesy of Redjie Melvic Cawis/PIA-CAR)
BAGUIO CITY– A total of 3,837 children aged nine to 59 months have received vaccines that will protect them from the side effects of Japanese encephalitis (JE), an official of the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU) said on Thursday.
Geeny Austria, RESU nurse at the Department of Health (DOH) Cordillera, told Philippine News Agency (PNA) that the number represents those immunized from February 14 to 26.
There are 1,486 who received the vaccine in Abra; 1,304 in Baguio; and 1,047 in Benguet.
Austria said they hope to reach the 175,000 target children in the whole region, noting that the vaccination for other provinces will be in March.
“This is part of our house-to-house immunization program to reach all the ‘unreached’ and underserved areas in the region,” she said.
She said JE is a fatal illness that affects children and has neurological side effects.
She said “Oplan Culex” JE immunization campaign was piloted by the DOH in four regions — 1 (Ilocos), 2 (Cagayan Valley), 3 (Central Luzon) and the Cordillera– will contain the increasing number of cases.
In 2018, Cordillera had 24 laboratory-confirmed cases, with Baguio, Kalinga and Benguet having five cases each; Ifugao and Apayao with three each; Abra, two; and Mountain Province, one.
From 2015 to 2017, there were 36 laboratory-confirmed cases.
JE is a mosquito-borne viral infection transmitted by the bite of an infected female Culex mosquito, attacking victims after sunset and before sunrise.
Culex mosquito is a brown-colored mosquito that breeds locally in rice fields, ground pools, water hyacinth ponds, slow streams, irrigation ditches and canals.
Health officials continue to urge the public to rid their surroundings and houses of possible mosquito breeding grounds as a preventive measure against JE, dengue and other mosquito-borne diseases. (PNA)