(PNA photo by Gil Calinga)

MANILA – The country has logged 450 measles and rubella (MR) cases for the first nine months of this year, the Department of Health (DOH) said Wednesday.

In a Viber message to reporters, the DOH said data from Jan. 1 to Sept. 17 translates to 153 percent increase from 178 cases in the same period last year.

Two deaths due to MR were reported in August and September.

Most of the cases were reported in Region 4-A (Calabarzon) with 70 or 16 percent; Central Visayas with 61 or 14 percent; and National Capital Region (NCR) with 47 or 10 percent.

From Aug. 21 to Sept. 17, about 68 cases were recorded, 16 or 24 percent of which were from Calabarzon; 12 or 18 percent from Eastern Visayas; seven or 10 percent from Central Visayas; seven or 10 percent from Zamboanga Peninsula; and seven or 10 percent from the NCR.

Five out of 17 regions -- Cagayan Valley, Calabarzon, Bicol Region, Central Visayas and the NCR -- surpassed the measles epidemic threshold levels for the recent four morbidity weeks (Aug. 21 to Sept. 17).

Measles clusters were reported in the Ilocos Region (Barangay Caranglaan, Dagupan City, Pangasinan) and Zamboanga Peninsula (Barangay Balangasan, Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur).

“Nationally, 36 cases were classified as laboratory confirmed measles, while 37 cases were classified as laboratory confirmed rubella,” it said. (PNA)