Cape Town health staff battles measles outbreak

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Cape Town health staff battles measles outbreak

TMG Digital | 2017-02-22 12:39:30.0

A vial of vaccine against measles and rubella. File photo.

Image by: DAVID MERCADO
/

REUTERS

Health officials in Cape Town are working around to clock to address the measles outbreak.

The city said the Eastern and Northern districts – which are closest to the school where the outbreak began – are being prioritised for the vaccination drive. Vaccines will be given to children under five and teenagers under 15. “For the Eastern District the target population of under 15 to be vaccinated is almost 150 000‚” the city said.

Next week the vaccination drive will begin in Khayelitsha as well as other areas of the city.

“I want to thank the City Health Department for the speed and efficiency with which they have responded to this outbreak. They will be dedicating long hours to this vaccination drive and we are grateful for their efforts in keeping our city safe‚” said JP Smith‚ mayoral committee member for social services and safety and security. ”I would urge parents to ensure their children are vaccinated and to sign and return the consent forms which their children will be given to take home.”

Facts about measles:

– The virus is contagious and is spread through coughing‚ sneezing and contact with saliva or nasal secretions.

– It can be contracted only once.

– Initial symptoms include skin rash‚ fever‚ conjunctivitis‚ cough and runny nose.

– Later Koplik’s spots – which are small white spots – appear inside the mouth.

– After exposure it can take 10 to 12 days to become ill.

– Measles can have a high rate of complications‚ including death.



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