S. Africa on high alert for measles outbreak

December 16, 2014 11:55 pm 

CAPE TOWN, Dec. 16 — Health authorities on Monday placed South Africa on high alert for a measles outbreak as cases have been reported in five provinces since earlier this year.

About 49 laboratory confirmed measles cases have been reported since the beginning of this year, said Joe Maila, spokesperson of the National Department of Health.

Majority cases were reported in the Northern Cape, with 18 measles detected.

There was indeed a measles outbreak in South Africa, Maila said, "However, we are doing everything to that effect to make sure that we contain it. So that it should not spread at the level that people are getting worried."

"The Department of Health is working tirelessly with the National Institute for Communicable Diseases to contain the virus and ensure that it is not spreading," Maila said.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It is spread by contact with droplets from the nose, mouth, or throat of an infected person. Sneezing and coughing can put contaminated droplets into the air.

Rash is often the main symptom. Other symptoms may include bloodshot eyes, cough and fever. (PNA/Xinhua)

FFC/EBP

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