Measles outbreak in JHB

2009-09-29 13:35

THERE is an outbreak of measles in Johannesburg, with 48 cases

reported this month, the city said today.

“Since the beginning of September 48 measles cases have been

reported in Johannesburg. All the regions in the city are affected by the

outbreak,” said spokesperson Nkosinathi Nkabinde.

From January to August there were 11 cases of confirmed measles


“Some of the persons affected had one or two doses of measles

vaccine, meaning all persons are at risk of contracting measles,” said Nkabinde.

“Anyone with a fever, rash, running nose, red infected eyes or cough should be

investigated for measles.”

The health department will immunise all identified cases at home,

school and at the workplace.

The vaccine must be administered as soon as possible after exposure

to be effective, Nkabinde said.

“Although the first measles vaccination given at nine months

protects infants, immunity acquired is not optimal due to the presence of

maternal antibodies.

“The second dose administered at 18 months of age, provides another

chance to protect the children against measles, especially for those children

who did not respond to the first dose of the vaccine. About one of every 10

children does not respond to the first dose of vaccine.”

Nkabinde said the second dose also served as a booster to increase

antibody levels in those with low antibody levels. After the second dose, 99% of

children are protected against measles.

“Additional doses such as doses given during national campaigns,

improve immunity against the disease.

“Parents who have younger children who are not attending school

should please ensure that these children are fully immunised. If you are not

certain that your child is fully immunised, please visit your local


Members of the public, especially medical personnel, traditional

healers and training institutions, were urged to report all cases of suspected


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