Four cases of suspected measles have been reported in Gauteng: three from Tshwane and one on the West Rand.
News24 reports that all four cases are “currently isolating and recovering”, and Health Minister Joe Phaahla has urged parents and caregivers to ensure their children are up to date with their vaccinations, in line with the vaccination schedule against measles and other childhood diseases.
The measles vaccine is given at six and 12 months of age.
“Measles is highly contagious, caused by a virus which mainly spreads through infectious, airborne respiratory droplets from infected people coughing or sneezing. However, the vaccine has been used for almost 60 years and is the best protection against this life-threatening childhood disease.
“It is safe, effective and free at public health facilities,” the minister said. Symptoms include fever, red eyes, runny nose and cough, which typically appear before the disease’s characteristic maculopapular rash.
Very young children, especially those under one, may develop complicated measles, including pneumonia, eye complications, and, rarely, encephalitis. Unvaccinated children were at the highest risk of measles and its complications, irreversible brain damage and/or death, especially in immunocompromised or malnourished children.
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