Gauteng measles campaign extended

Friday, October 30, 2009

Pretoria - The Gauteng Health and Social Development Department has extended its measles campaign to allow the province to reach its target of vaccinating three million people.

The department said that the vaccination of children against measles would now continue until 6 November.

Health workers have already reached two million people in the ongoing measles campaign, by visiting schools and crSches and targeting children from the ages of six months up to both primary and high schools learners.

The campaign was initiated after more cases of measles were reported in the province.

As of Tuesday, the province recorded 1222 confirmed cases of measles with one confirmed death and nationally, the total number of confirmed cases is 1355.

Last week, 51 measles cases were confirmed at the Johannesburg Medium A Correctional Centre.

In addition to vaccinating people, the department's Outbreak Response Team has alerted all clinicians, both in the private and public sector to be on a look out for any signs and symptoms from patients who present themselves at the health facilities.

"Infection control officers in all hospitals have also been requested to be on high surveillance for the disease and ongoing public education provided through clinics, health promoters dispatched throughout the province are also focusing on measles," said department's MEC Qedani Mahlangu.

Measles symptoms include runny nose, cough, red eyes, fever and rashes.

Complications include encephalitis (brain infection), pneumonia (lung infection), ear infections and deafness, members of the public who experience these signs and symptoms are urged to immediately visit their nearest clinic for tests and treatment.