Measles outbreak confirmed in Hoima

Measles outbreak confirmed in Hoima
Caption not available

The health alert comes four of five samples tested at the Government Analytical Laboratory in Kampala tested positive for measles.

HOIMA | There is an outbreak of measles in Hoima, the district authorities have said, tripping the locals to watch for the symptoms and to prepare to take their children aged five and below for vaccination in coming days.

"I want to confirm on behalf of Hoima that our district has measles outbreak," said Fredrick Byenume, the acting District Health Officer.

"This means people have to be extremely careful."

The health alert comes four of five samples tested at the Government Analytical Laboratory in Kampala tested positive for measles.

Five serum specimens were collected on February 16 from five patients suspected of being infected with measles at Runga landing site in Kiganja Subcounty.

"Most unfortunate, we have also had two deaths and these people are suspected to have died of measles though for them we had not done sample testing, but those that treated claim they presented signs of measles, so it's very serious," Fredrick Byenume, the acting District Health Officer, said.

All the specimens were taken to the government laboratory Entebbe yesterday and were subjected to both measles and rubella specific tests.

Measles is a very contagious disease that causes fever (as high as 40°C), a red rash, cough and watery eyes. The rash usually appears about 14 days after a person is exposed.

The red, blotchy rash that usually appears first on the face and behind the ears, then spreads downward to the chest and back and finally to the feet.

Measles is a childhood infection caused by a virus. Once quite common, measles can now almost always be prevented with a vaccine.

Byenume said their investigation had revealed that one of the victims came from DR Congo to seek treatment.

"We are not very certain of the route cause of measles into our country, but we have reports of a patient who crossed from Congo to Uganda for treatment little did he know it was measles and we suspect he may be the one who spread the disease," Byenume added.

While he did not name the health centre where the alleged carrier victim was treated from, the Nile Post is aware that it is easy to cross from DR Congo into the country travelling on Lake Albert to Runga landing site in Kigorobya.

Byenume said the district has already embarked on health education and then conduct specific immunization for all children below five years in all the villages surrounding Runga landing site.

"We encourage parents to humbly present their children below the ages of five for immunisation and our target is going to be areas near Runga Subcounty," Byenume said.

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