Measles cases detected in Gauteng,Minister Phaahla calls for calm

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The Minister of Health Dr Joe Phaahla is calling for calm and vigilance as government detects cases of measles in Gauteng during routine surveillance activities aimed at detecting, investigating and responding to every suspected case of this vaccine-preventable disease.

Minister said over the last two weeks of May 2022, four suspected cases of measles from persons residing in Gauteng have been notified and ultimately confirmed through laboratory testing conducted by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD).

“Three of these cases are individuals residing in Tshwane, which means that the City of Tshwane is experiencing an outbreak of measles. The fourth case is an individual residing in the West Rand of Gauteng. All four individuals are presently isolated and are recovering”.

Measles is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus which mainly spreads through infectious airborne respiratory droplets from infected persons when coughing or sneezing.”However measles vaccine has been in use for almost 60 years and is the best protection against this life-threatening childhood disease. It is safe, effective and available free of charge at public health facilities”.

Measles symptoms include fever, red eyes, runny nose and cough which typically appear before the onset of the disease’s characteristic maculopapular rash.

Children especially those under one year of age may develop complicated measles which may include pneumonia, eye complications, and rarely, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain).

Minister Phaahla added that the Departmental officials are working closely with the Gauteng Department of Health, the City of Tshwane, the NICD and other stakeholders including the World Health Organization and UNICEF to investigate and respond to the outbreak.

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