On a follow-up on the measles outbreak concentrated in the eastern part of Zimbabwe, the health ministry reported an additional six suspected measles deaths from Masvingo, bringing the death toll to 704 since April this year.

As of September 6, Zimbabwe has reported 6,551 measles cases during this period, nearly half from Manicaland.

A vaccination drive that began on August 29 ended today. The target was 2.3 million children between the ages of six to 59 months.

26.9 percent of the target, or 623,810 were vaccinated.



















Measles is a highly contagious virus that spreads through the air by direct contact with infectious droplets or by airborne spread when an infected person breathes, coughs, or sneezes. The measles virus can live for up to two hours in an airspace after an infected person leaves an area.

People can spread measles up to four days before and four days after a rash.

Signs and symptoms of measles include maculopapular rash, high fever, and a cough, runny nose, or red, watery eyes.

Measles can be severe in all age groups and can lead to serious complications, such as pneumonia (infection of the lungs) and death. Several groups are more likely to suffer from measles complications, including children younger than five years of age, adults older than 20 years of age, pregnant women, and people with compromised immune systems, such as from leukemia or HIV infection.