NEWS

Butebo district hit by measles outbreak

Health state minister Sarah Opendi carries a child as a nurse vaccinates against measles in Kampala: NET PHOTO

BUTEBO- Butebo leaders have confirmed an outbreak of measles in the district, with 44 children so far affected.

The acting district health officer, Dr Nathan Tibako, said the cases were confirmed after laboratory tests last month.

“The most affected are children between 5 months and 5 years. The affected children are referred to health facilities for urgent medication to avoid further spread,” he said.

Dr Tibako said the district and the Ministry of Health have embarked on a number of activities, including routine immunisation and community outreaches, to control the spread of the disease.

He said the most affected areas are Kashebai and Kanyum in Butebo Sub-county, Petete and Kachecha in Petete Sub-county and Kachulu and Kabwangasi in Kabwangasi Sub-county.

The health official urged local leaders to educate residents about the disease

A senior clinical officer, Mr Anthony Kalele, said cases registered could be higher. “The day we [health department] identified the outbreak of the disease in the district, many cases were recorded but concerted efforts have been down to scale down the rapid spread of the disease.

Measles is a very contagious disease that can spread through contact with infected mucus and saliva. An infected person can release the infection into the air when they cough or sneeze.

The measles virus can live on surfaces for several hours. As the infected particles enter the air and settle on surfaces, anyone within close proximity can become infected.

Drinking from an infected person’s glass, or sharing eating utensils with an infected person, increases your risk of infection.

Measles is a leading cause of death in children. Of the 114,900 global deaths related to measles in 2014, the World Health Organization reported that most of the victims were under the age of 5.

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