The Gauteng Department of Health noticed an increase in confirmed measles cases since the beginning of March 2017 in the province.
The National Department of Health advised the province to conduct an emergency measles outbreak campaign, vaccinating all children from 6 months up to 5 years with one dose of measles vaccine, irrespective of their vaccination status.
At this stage only Johannesburg will vaccinate children from 6 months to 15 years. In Tshwane, all children from 6 to 59 months or up to 5 years need to be vaccinated.
The City of Tshwane urges all parents or guardians to take their children to their nearest clinic for one dose of measles vaccine. The 2017 Emergency Measles Outbreak Campaign will be conducted from 2 to 26 May 2017. Health professional teams will visit crèches to immunise all children from 6 months up to 5 years with one dose of measles vaccine, irrespective of their immunisation status.
Measles is a serious disease, which can cause blindness, deafness, brain damage, pneumonia and even death. It can affect anyone, including children and adults.
What to do
For children in crèches, please complete and sign the consent form and send it back to the crèche the following day. If your children are not attending a crèche, take them to the nearest clinic.
No "Road to Health" cards or booklets are required.
Measles is the most serious of the common childhood viral illnesses.
Symptoms include a fever, rash, runny nose, cough and red eyes .
In severe cases symptoms include mouth ulcers, a painful throat and diarrhoea.
How is it treated?
There is no specific treatment for measles; because it is a virus, it needs to run its course.
• Pain and fever medicine will make the child feel more comfortable when required.
• Keep the child hydrated.
• Good nutrition is essential. Immune-boosting supplements may help, especially vitamin A.
• If a secondary bacterial infection steps in, a doctor will prescribe the appropriate antibiotics.
• The child needs to be kept home and away from people for at least 5 days.