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Measles Outbreak Spreads Countrywide, Kills 80

Measles Outbreak Spreads Countrywide, Kills 80

A measles outbreak which was first detected in Mutasa District, Manicaland Province, on 10 April this year has spread to other parts of the country, killing 80 people so far, while there are 1 036 suspected cases.

In a statement issued on Sunday, Health and Child Care Ministry permanent secretary Jasper Chimedza said the disease has spread countrywide possibly because of church gatherings. He said:

These gatherings (church) which were attended by people from different provinces of the country with unknown vaccination statuses led to the spread of measles to previously unaffected areas.

As of August 11, 2022, a total of 1 036 suspected cases, 125 laboratory-confirmed cases and 80 deaths have been reported since the onset of the outbreak resulting in a case fatality rate (CFR) of 6.9%.

Manicaland Province, being the epicentre of the outbreak, has the highest number of cases and deaths, 356 and 45 respectively.

Chimedza said that most cases reported were among children aged six months to 15 years and from religious groups that shun vaccination against the disease.

He added that MoHCC had mobilised adequate human and financial resources from within government and partners to fight the measles outbreak. Said Chimedza:

The public is advised that the risk of developing a severe form of measles or dying from complications of measles is very high among unvaccinated children under 15 years.

… The ministry is increasing routine vaccination to reach above 95% coverage for both first and second doses in children.

Additionally, we are instituting a mass vaccination campaign targeting the six months to 15 years age groups regardless of their vaccination status.

Chimedza also implored parents and guardians in the affected areas to bring their children for vaccination for free to avoid complications and deaths.

Signs and Symptoms of measles according to the World Health Organisation (WHO)

The first sign of measles is usually a high fever, which begins about 10 to 12 days after exposure to the virus, and lasts 4 to 7 days.

A runny nose, a cough, red and watery eyes, and small white spots inside the cheeks can develop in the initial stage.

After several days, a rash erupts, usually on the face and upper neck. Over about 3 days, the rash spreads, eventually reaching the hands and feet.

The rash lasts for 5 to 6 days and then fades. On average, the rash occurs 14 days after exposure to the virus (within a range of 7 to 18 days).

More: NewsDay

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3 Comments

Tkt 1 month ago

Ok thank you
Tangwara now


ntn 1 month ago

how can one get his kids vaccinated,


mnhanga 1 month ago

Mapositori ekwaMarange ndomarabishi pamwe naED vanosekererana vasingabaisii vana



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