In a follow-up on the measles outbreak in Gauteng Province, South Africa, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) has reported 17 cases of measles in Gauteng from March – April 2017.
This follows an outbreak of 31 cases in the Western Cape in January-February 2017. The Western Cape outbreak was controlled by a vaccination campaign in that province, which reached more than 450 000 children. From January to April 2017, there have additionally been 4 cases from North West province, 1 from Eastern Cape, 1 from Mpumalanga and 1 from Limpopo province.
This has prompted the Department of Health to start a mass measles vaccination campaign for the month of May for Gauteng Province and the end of June for other provinces.
The campaign is targeting children aged between 6 months and 5 years.
In City of Johannesburg, the campaign will include children from 6 months to 15 years.
Measles is a viral infection, spread from person to person through saliva by coughing, sneezing or being in close contact with an infected person. Symptoms include fever, a rash and a flu-like illness. Complications can include lung infection (pneumonia), diarrhea, dehydration, blindness, brain infection (encephalitis) or death. Most people recover fully from measles, but complications are unpredictable.
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