By Mariela Angella Oladive
The Iloilo Provincial Health Office (IPHO) reported its first case of Rubella, commonly known as German Measles, raising concerns about its potential impact on public health.
The affected individual is a 10-month-old baby girl who was admitted to Ramon Tabiana Memorial District Hospital in Cabatuan town on January 9 after manifesting symptoms of fever and rashes.
Dr. Maria Socorro Quiñon, head of IPHO, disclosed that the baby’s serum specimen was immediately sent to the Western Visayas Medical Center for testing.
The results received on January 12 confirmed the presence of Rubella, a contagious viral infection that is transmitted primarily through direct or droplet contact from nasopharyngeal secretions.
Rubella, which is caused by the Rubella virus, is a leading vaccine-preventable cause of birth defects.
Pregnant women who contract the virus face the risk of fetal death or congenital defects, collectively known as congenital rubella syndrome.
Dr. Quiñon emphasized the urgency of increasing public awareness to identify potential cases early. She urged individuals who observe symptoms such as rashes with fever, especially in children, to report to their local rural health units for prompt isolation and testing.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), while the infection is usually mild in children, it can have severe consequences if contracted during pregnancy.
Common symptoms of Rubella include weakness, fever, rashes, and swelling of the eyes.
As Rubella has no cure, vaccination remains the most effective way to prevent the disease. Dr. Quiñon recommended timely vaccination, explaining that the first dose can be administered at 9 months, with a follow-up dose at 12 months.
The vaccines are available for free at RHUs.