Three adults have contracted measles in Mutasa District, Manicaland Province, Mutasa District Medical Officer (DMO), Dr Cephas Fonte has confirmed.
The disease is often associated with childhood illnesses but adults can also contract it, especially those who were not vaccinated against it.
On 13 June, three adults were diagnosed with the infectious disease, among them, a 39-year-old female health worker.
She had a severe rash, fever, coughing and red eyes and was subsequently hospitalised in isolation at Hauna District Hospital.
Two other patients, aged 35 and 40, had mild symptoms and were isolated at their respective homes to avoid spreading the infection.
Dr Fonte said the three victims’ vaccination status was unknown. He added:
An emerging trend is that adults are contracting the disease. One of the three adults, a health worker aged, is admitted in isolation at Hauna District Hospital due to the severity of the symptoms.
The other two were males with mild symptoms. They were isolated in their respective homes and encouraged to use face masks to reduce the risk of infection.
This emerging trend confirms the severity, aggressiveness and high scale of the measles outbreak in Mutasa.
Normally measles is associated with childhood illnesses, and the fact that it has started attacking adults shows how intense the outbreak is.
The patients do not remember if they were vaccinated or not. So while their vaccination status is not known, what is clear is that it was all their first time being infected with measles.
400 cases have been reported in the district so far and 38 deaths have been recorded since the disease’s outbreak in April.
72 252 children have been vaccinated so far, against a target of 74 100.