SA Health Officials On Measles Alert

The South African Health Department has confirmed the prevalence of measles cases in five provinces – Gauteng, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, Northern Cape and Western Cape.

Health Ministry Spokesman Joe Maila said on Monday that about 49 laboratory confirmed measles cases had been noted since the beginning of this year, with the majority cases being reported in the Northern Cape with 18 measles detected to date.

Maila said the department was working with the National Institute for communicable Diseases (NICD) to contain the virus and ensure that it was not spreading.

“Indeed there is a break-out of measles in South Africa. However, we are doing everything to make sure that we contain it so that it should not spread at the level that people are getting worried,” he added.

“Therefore we need to make sure that when parents see that there are a little bit of change about their children they must take them in for treatment so that we may be able to know what is going on. We are working closely with the NICD which is able to track what are the developments in the country and we believe that we have the situation under control.”

The Eastern Cape Province said it was also on high alert. Provincial health department spokesman Sizwe Kupelo said no case had been reported in the province as yet but the department was putting teams together to keep an eye on the disease.

“We’re preparing ourselves activating Outbreak Response Teams throughout province, those in districts and in Bhisho but those will provide support amp ensure availability. We’re aware that a number of Eastern Cape residents in other provinces will be coming here and we know measles may be imported in that way hence our preparedness to ensure we deal with any possibility,” said Kupelo.

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