Measles outbreak in Gauteng

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The Gauteng department of health noticed an increase in confirmed measles cases since the beginning of March this year in the province.

ALSO READ: Measles making a comeback

The national department of health advised the province to conduct an emergency measles outbreak campaign, vaccinating all children from six months up to five years with one dose of measles vaccine, irrespective of their vaccination status.

At this stage only Johannesburg will vaccinate children from six months to 15 years. In Pretoria, all children from six months up to five years need to be vaccinated.

The City of Tshwane urges all parents or guardians to take their children to their nearest clinic for one dose of measles vaccine. The 2017 Emergency Measles Outbreak Campaign is currently running until 26 May.

Health professional teams will visit crèches to immunise all children from six months up to five years old with one dose of measles vaccine, irrespective of their immunisation status.

Measles is a serious disease, which can cause blindness, deafness, brain damage, pneumonia and even death. It can affect anyone, including children and adults.

ALSO READ: Measles outbreak in South Africa

What to do:

For children in crèches, complete and sign the consent form and send it back to the crèche the following day. If your children are not attending a crèche take them to the nearest clinic. No “Road to Health” cards or booklets are required.

Symptoms:

Measles is the most serious of common childhood viral illnesses.

It manifests as:

– Fever

– A rash

– Runny nose

– Cough

– Red eyes.

In severe cases symptoms include mouth ulcers, a painful throat and diarrhea.

How is it treated?

There is no specific treatment for measles, because it is a virus, it needs to run its course.

–       Pain and fever medicine will make the child feel more comfortable when required.

–       Keep the child hydrated.

–       Good nutrition is essential. Immune-boosting supplements may help, especially vitamin A.

–       If a secondary bacterial infection steps in, a doctor will prescribe the appropriate antibiotics.

–       The child needs to be kept at home and away from people for at least five days.

For more information, speak to your nearest clinic.

ALSO READ: Protect yourself against measles

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