A total of 67 cases have so far been identified and seven of them confirmed by laboratory tests, according to surveillance and case finding reports. The cases are scattered in all the five division of Kampala, as well as several suburbs in Wakiso district.
Measles, Online images
The Ministry of Health has confirmed an outbreak of measles in Kampala and Wakiso districts.
A total of 67 cases have so far been identified and seven of them confirmed by laboratory tests, according to surveillance and case finding reports. The cases are scattered in the five division of Kampala, as well as several suburbs in Wakiso district.
A statement released this morning by the Ministry of Health indicates that the most affected age group are children under 1 year. The airborne disease which mainly affects children aged between six and 10 years, is spread through air and contact with an infected person.
Prof. Anthony K. Mbonye, the acting Director General of Health Services says the ministry of health is investigating the extent of spread of Measles within the districts of Kampala and Wakiso and educating the public about the signs, symptoms and dangers of the disease.
Measles can be detected through high fever, whooping cough and red swelling eyelids, muscle and body aches, irritability, running nose, watery eyes and rashes. Medics say that early symptoms of Measles usually last three to four days, before the Measles rash manifests.
One to two days before the rash appears, small red lesions with blue-white centers appear on the inside of the mouth and tongue, and occasionally on the whites of the eyes or inside the intestines. The disease which can also result into death can be prevented by immunization and vaccination of children.
Prof. Mbonye appeals to the public to avoid direct contact with children infected or suspected to be infected with the disease, Report and immediately take any suspected children to nearby health facilities and take un-vaccinated children under 5 years of age for immunization to the nearest health facilities.
No specific antiviral treatment exists for measles virus according to the World Health Organisation.
However, severe complications from measles can be avoided through supportive care that ensures good nutrition, adequate fluid intake and treatment of dehydration with WHO-recommended oral re-hydration solution. The solution replaces fluids and other essential elements that are lost through diarrhea or vomiting. Antibiotics should be prescribed to treat eye and ear infections, and pneumonia.
WHO advises that children in developing countries diagnosed with measles should receive two doses of vitamin A supplements, given 24 hours apart. The treatment restores low vitamin A levels during measles that occur even in well-nourished children and can help prevent eye damage and blindness.
Vitamin A supplements have been shown to reduce the number of deaths from measles by 50 percent.