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15/03/2017: City ready for measles outbreak
15 March 2017
Communicable illnesses outbreak response teams in the City of Johannesburg are on high alert for any cases of measles following a health alert issued by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD).
 
The NICD, a division of the National Health Laboratories Service (NHLS), issued the health alert in late January following a measles outbreak in Stellenbosch in the Western Cape.
 
In Gauteng, measles surveillance and a follow-up of suspected measles cases in primary healthcare facilities, hospitals and ports of entry are ongoing.
 
The City of Johannesburg's Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Health and Social Development, Dr Mpho Phalatse, says that as of this week, the City has noted nine cases of confirmed measles in Region G.
 
Parents and caregivers are urged to ensure that they are up to date with their children's vaccinations as per the immunisation schedule. If you are unsure, visit your nearest primary healthcare facility immediately.
 
“Parents and community members can help by ensuring that all children are immunised against measles at the correct ages. Any child who is suspected to be suffering from measles should be taken to the nearest health facility for examination and investigation,” says MMC Phalatse.
 
The City has ensured that all nine reported cases were vaccinated against measles including all persons under the age 15 year within the affected communities. This has been done so as to contain any possible further spread of the illness.
 
Measles is an airborne respiratory infection caused by the rubeola virus. Although it is usually seen in children it can also affect adolescents and adults. With symptoms such as body rash, fever, loss of appetite, coughing, conjunctivitis (red eyes) and coryza (runny nose). Measles has an incubation period of between 10 and 14 days, often longer in adults than in children.
 
Those at the highest risk of contracting measles, which can be fatal, are unvaccinated young children and pregnant women and any non-immune person who has not been vaccinated or was vaccinated but did not develop immunity.
 
The measles vaccine, which is available at all the City’s 81 clinics and health facilities, is administered when a child is six months old, and a booster administered at 12 months.
 
According to the World Health Organisation's situational report released on 02 March 2017, measles is one of the leading causes of death among young children, even though a safe and cost-effective vaccine is available.
 
"During 2000-2015, measles vaccination prevented 20.3 million deaths worldwide,” said MMC Phalatse.
 
Please visit your nearest health care facility should you display any of the above-mentioned signs and symptoms.
 
For further information, please contact:
Nonhlakanipho Nedzamba
Stakeholder Liaison Officer
Office of the MMC – Health and Social Development – Dr Mpho Phalatse
Tel: (011) 407 - 6725
Cell: 072 596 9508
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
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Last Updated on 15 March 2017