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Measles outbreak confirmed in Kampala and Wakiso


Health state minister Sarah Opendi officially launches a mass measles immunization campaign in 2015. A new outbreak has hit Kampala.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Uganda’s Ministry of Health has confirmed there is an active outbreak of Measles in Kampala and Wakiso Districts. All the five divisions of Kampala, as well as several suburbs in Wakiso District are affected.

According to a statement released Tuesday, the Ministry of Health surveillance and case finding reports indicate a total of 67 cases have so far been identified.

Of the 67 cases, seven have been confirmed by laboratory tests within the month of July. The most affected age group are children under one year.

According to Prof. Anthony K. Mbonye, Director General of Health Services, the ministry has started several measure to control the spread of the disease.

“The ministry is investigating the extent of spread of measles within the districts of Kampala and Wakiso and conducting sensitization programmes to educate the public about the signs, symptoms and dangers of the diseases,” said Mbonye.

The health officials are also undertaking immunization programmes of children and management of all suspected cases

He appealed to the public to avoid direct contact with children infected or suspected to be infected with the disease and report and immediately take any suspected children to nearby health facilities

Mbonye urged parents to take unvaccinated children under 5 years of age for immunization to the nearest health facilities.

Symptoms of measles

Measles is an airborne disease that affects mainly children aged between six months and 10 years of age although it can also affect adults. It is spread through air and contact with an infected person.

Some early symptoms of measles include high fever, whooping cough and red swelling eyelids, muscle and body aches, irritability, running nose, watery eyes and rashes.  Approximately 20 percent of people with measles develop one or more complications associated with the disease.

These early symptoms of measles usually last three to four days, although they can last as little as one day or as long as eight days, before the measles rash manifests.  One to two days before the rash appears, small red lesions with blue-white centers appear on the inside of the mouth and tongue, and occasionally on the whites of the eyes or inside the intestines.

“Measles is a dangerous disease which can cause death,” the statement warned, adding that “It can be prevented by immunization and vaccination of children. Complications of the diseases can be treated by a qualified health personnel.”

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