Uganda’s Ministry of Health has confirmed outbreak of Measles in Kampala and Wakiso districts with all five divisions of capital city affected.
Measles is an airborne disease that affects mainly children aged between six months and ten years of age although it can also affect adults. It is spread through air and contact with an infected person.
“The most affected age group are children under 1 year. All the five divisions of Kampala, as well as several suburbs in Wakiso District are affected,” Prof Anthony Mbonye, the ministry’s Acting Director General of Health Services said in a statement today.
So far 67 cases have been identified and seven of these confirmed by lab tests.
The public has been warned to avoid contact with suspected patients and to report these cases immediately at the nearest health facility.
Uganda has in the past carried out major measles immunisation campaigns.
According to the World Health Organistation, in children, the disease is usually mild, with symptoms, including a rash, low fever (39°C), nausea and mild conjunctivitis.
The rash, which occurs in 50-80 per cent of cases, usually starts on the face and neck before progressing down the body, and lasts 1-3 days.
Swollen lymph glands behind the ears and in the neck are the most characteristic clinical feature.
Infected adults, more commonly women, who may develop arthritis and painful joints that usually last from 3-10 days.
Measles remains a major killer of young children, despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine.